Friday, July 15, 2011

Poetry Friday: "How to Pay Attention"

Photo Credit: Matsu

I spent a few days this week enjoying nature, and taking lots of photos, which I have yet to upload. Forests and mountains and wildlife gave so much to look at. Around every corner was another beautiful sight to capture.

This dragonfly, landing briefly on my husband, made me think of the grasshopper in Mary Oliver's poem "The Summer Day."

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

A camera helps me pay attention, focuses me on what is in front of me. Everything does die at last, and too soon. A summer day is the perfect time to pay attention to all the blessings God has given me.

Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.

1 comment:

Janet said...


My husband brought home a dragonfly the other day. It was dead beside the parking lot, but perfectly intact, and similarly colored to the one in the photo -- except with some bright yellow spots. Such elaborate detail even in an "insignificant" creature.