Ode to Mary Oliver

I see her walking through peonies
waiting patiently for the strawberry moon.
She, the night traveler in my dreams.
She bids me walk slowly, eyes open in my sleep,
to explore her natural world.
Together we soar on the wings of a hawk
as goldfinches sing and wonder precedes us.
Approaching Provincetown,
we marvel at migrating wild geese
making their cacophonous way
to their winter’s resting place.
As I begin to drift near rising
she leads me past fields of goldenrod
to a small pond bedecked in floating flowers,
lily pads asleep and yet to bloom.
Cool winds ruffle my eyelids
like rustling leaves in a tree.
The lilies break open over the dark water
as my dream retreats into dawning sky.
I awaken to a certain sharpness in the morning air
ready to take up pen, inspired by this woman.
She, the night traveler in my dreams.

Written for NAPOWRIMO, Day 25. Today we’re to write an aisling: to recount a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land/country on/in which the poet lives.

Mary Oliver moved to Provincetown in the 1960s and sets most of her poetry in and around this wonderful town. An avid walker, much of her poetry comes from her observances of the natural world. I’ve incorporated 9 titles of her poems in my Ode:
Peonies
Strawberry Moon
The Night Traveler
Hawk
Goldfinches
Wild Geese
Goldenrod
The Lilies Break Open Over the Dark Water
A Certain Sharpness in the Morning Air

We’ve lived in Boston for the past twenty-five years and spend two weeks of every year in Provincetown, at the very tip of Cape Cod. Photos from our visits to P’town.