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A Stone from Sligo
Which Rachel brought to Molly
on Molly's 80th birthday --
what lovelier present could there be
than a time-trickster?
It is mostly dove-breast gray
and all through it, like noodles in soup,
are the enfossiled bodies of sea worms,
hundreds and thousands of years old,
yet cradled still in the stone, too
pretty perhaps to let vanish. The
small creases of their many bodies are
plain to see. Their faces, if they had
faces, are no longer seeable, they are the art-work now
of the salt sea, as all of us will be, rolled smooth, pieces
of the past, little-finger-thick
presences, proofs, ghosts, comrades.
-- Mary Oliver

Catch It While You Can
How can I not feel good when
after seven days of rain
it stops. I grab my flip-flops,
fly down the road that's hopping
with rabbits. Hi bunny.
Bye bunny. Something's up.
Tails are bouncing like musical balls.
Remember those? La la la la.
Feet sink into mud. An eft
climbs up on my big toe. Uh-ho.
Squirrels start speaking in tongues.
I follow a sumo-sized sparrow
through fog that lifts, revealing-
a crow. I needed the magic.
I stop. Do a few qi gong moves:
Catch the moon. Passing clouds.
Forget forms so make them up.
It's only qi gong. Why go nuts?
At the pond, two gummy frogs
belly-flop. Bang, bang.
They swim together and apart,
hoist up on a rock where
they twinkle and bop fists.
I'm not making this up.
Except for the fists.
-- Roberta Swann

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OnEarth. Summer 2005
Copyright 2005 by the Natural Resources Defense Council