Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing, as we must,
how the vivacity of what was, is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but what
else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

~ Mary Oliver, “Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness” in A Thousand Mornings 

Notes: Poem source – Thank you Karl @ Mindfulbalance. Photo via afaerytalelife


  1. Thank you David and Mary Oliver for making this cold shift…to “all crisping days” somehow sweeter.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. crisp, indeed. love this

    Liked by 1 person

  3. roseanne333 says:

    There is almost nothing better than starting our day with Mary Oliver.
    Thanks, DK.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. freddiegeorgia says:

    Frost in the pasture…getting ready to bundle for the horses. It’s a rich mash out there and that was the most perfect M.O. poem for a fallback Sunday morning.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I sit here in my new environs, listening to the cattle lowing and the Sand Hill Cranes trilling, Oliver’s words gently rock me and provide an antidote to the ache I feel in missing the changing colors. Nature is munificent and magnificent (and so is Ms. Oliver…)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Once again, David, your post comes at just the right time here in the U.S as we await results of Tuesday’s election. The leaves have mostly fallen from the trees here In Minnesota. “So let us go on, cheerfully enough, this and every crisping day,” while insisting that stewardship of the planet will rise quickly to the top of everyone’s political agenda.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Views from the Edge and commented:
    Canadian David Kanigan offers American poet Mary Oliver’s “Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness” — a poem of love for the world.


  8. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    ‘So let us go on, cheerfully enough, this and every crisping day,
    though the sun be swinging east, and the ponds be cold and black,
    and the sweets of the year be doomed. Mary Oliver … and much more!!


  9. The days are getting shorter. Another year is almost over. Fall is beautiful on the Donkey Whisperer Farm.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The sun is streaming through the window and illuminating the gold and green of the wonderful Aspen tree, the Maple out front has shed most of her leaves…on Friday we walked along the paths of a world renowned park in our little hamlet…the vistas amazing, the fall blooming flowers lovely…two German female tourists in search of a moon goddess ? flower, a sweet dog who got out of his yard we tried to catch to call the number on his tag (no luck catching him) & the leaves amazing…earlier in the week we were in an apple orchard, he was picking I was watching and we stepped on apples littering the rows they release their mash underfoot and the fragrance from the the mellowing apples on the trees amazing…we drove down the road to the river walked enjoying the fall foliage some of the leaves bigger than our heads! a mallard pair feed in the pond, unaware of our gaze…and birds fluttered nearby…yesterday I walked along as he gathered up the road neighbor’s leaves deposited at curb side for the municipalities to pick up (he was thankful the leaves are still dry and light)…the neighbors are glad to get rid of the leaves before the dump trucks & bulldozers come through…they come twice starting this week and once again in December…if a household signs up the crews will drop of dump trucks of leaves on your property for garden mulch…Fall is such a beautiful time and I annually gather up acorns and horse chestnuts to enjoy their beauty & to use in decor…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I gathered beautiful leaves my whole life…Horse Chestnuts since I was five…the big buckeyes I will rub between my fingers like a rosary… they shine so pretty…he just put an apple pie in the oven and is headed out the door to gather more leaves from up the road, his wheelbarrow (this one must be wheelbarrow #5) is worn, wobbly, patched up and red and I think back of the days when the gleeful little girl would be transported around the yard like a little princess… 🙂 and she would jump into the pile of leaves, her face beaming…pieces of leaves mingled with her long, curly hair…your thought Idyllic, yes, life for me has many grateful moments of Idyllic wonder…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Mary Oliver has a gift for reminding us of the gifts. She is a treasure. So is this timely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. As each season dies, a new one is born.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Enjoy the cool change and send me some of it when is steaming hot here ☀️☀️😎😓

    Liked by 1 person

  15. ahhhh the beauty of it all – the crackling leaves when we kick through them on a dry sunny autumn day – or going out for a ‘quick’ shopping parcours and when you get out of the dark belly of the shop you don’t see a thing any more – night has broken ‘early’ and all is shrouded in darkness, a light mist and street lamps only give you a hint of what you need to go back to your home…. Mary Oliver forever!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bear, thanks for the mention, the follow and the kind words. Love your #GBBT idea. And I believe that Austin Kleon said it – “steal like an artist”. I’m stealing (maybe)! 🙂



  1. […] David KaniganWe have arrived in British Columbia at the site of David Kanigan who has been on Freshly Pressed (now WordPress Discover, which modesty prohibits me from mentioning that my photographic site at BearsPhotosCornwall also featured on this year, oops..) Unlike me, David appears to think deeply. I have followed his site so I can learn something or perhaps think deeply too one day. […]

    Liked by 2 people

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