Half a Cup of Blues

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

When Death Comes by Mary Oliver

For Kelli...
Who always does things on her own terms.

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measle-pox

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.

I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

~Mary Oliver~


  • Well, that got me...been trying to fight the tears since I got home and now...like the Trinity.

    Very nice gesture.

    By Blogger Yibbyl, at 7/12/2005 7:12 PM  

  • Mary Oliver could probably sigh and bring me to my knees in awe. This is most beautiful. And applicable not only go kelli, but to each one of us who is afraid to live life out loud, with the fragrant stains of the earth under our fingernails, and the exquisite pain of love in our hearts.

    By Blogger bhd, at 7/13/2005 10:16 AM  

  • Michelle,
    You are such a special person.You give me hope and inspiration.I didn't have the pleasure of knowing kelli,but I know she is loved by many.
    Peace to kelli and Peace to you.

    By Blogger Jay, at 7/13/2005 2:45 PM  

  • This is an excellent way to celebrate a life that was loved my many of us. I thank you for your love and gift of compassion and I wish more would be like you. You are a true inspiration. Thank You.

    By Blogger redpig77, at 7/25/2005 1:39 PM  

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