It’s been a long day

What many discover is that the need to do, accomplish, and succeed perpetually replenishes itself. My father regarded lulls not as a grace but rather as enemies. His generational, class, and personal baggage was such that the only thing that mattered was Work (of the big W variety, not the small w work of cleaning up and tending to family life). Work was a form of mesmerism and ego refuge: best to keep going.

~ Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation


Notes:

It’s been a long day

friendly-monster-tired


Notes:

It’s been a long day (15 sec)

 


Notes:

It’s been a long day

blue-face-peace

Maybe poems are made of breath,

the way water, cajoled to boil,

says,

This is my soul, freed.

Dean Young, from “Scarecrow on Fire,” Fall Higher

 


Notes:

It’s been a long day

leg-feet-woman

All afternoon I have been walking over the dunes, hurrying from one thick raft of the wrinkled, salt roses to another, leaning down close to their dark or pale petals, red as blood or white as snow. And now I am beginning to breathe slowly and evenly – the way a hunted animal breathes, finally, when it has galloped and galloped – when it is wrung dry, but, at last, is far away, so the panic begins to drain from the chest, from the wonderful legs, and the exhausted mind.

Oh sweetness pure and simple, may I join you?

I lie down next to them, on the sand. But to tell
about what happens next, truly I need help.

Will somebody or something please start to sing?

~ Mary Oliver, “The Roses” from Blue Iris: Poems and Essays


Notes:

I have done this a few times

rest-sit-woman-portrait

[…]
How wonderful it is
to follow a thought quietly

to its logical end.
I have done this a few times.

But mostly I just stand in the dark field,
in the middle of the world, breathing

in and out. Life so far doesn’t have any other name
but breath and light, wind and rain.
[…]

~ Mary Oliver, from “What Is There Beyond Knowing” from New and Selected Poems, Volume Two


Notes:

It’s been a long day

[…]
Sometimes I dream
that everything in the world is here,
in my room,
in a great closet, named and orderly,
and sometimes I am that madcap person
clapping my hands and singing;
and sometimes I am that quiet person
down on my knees.

— Mary Oliver, excerpt from “Something” in Why I Wake Early: New Poems


Notes:

It’s been a long day

photography
It’s we who breathe, in, out, in, the sacred,
leaves astir, our wings
rising, ruffled—but only saints
take flight. We cower
in cliff-crevice or edge out gingerly
on branches close to the nest. The wind
marks the passage of holy ones riding
that ocean of air. Slowly their wake
reaches us, rocks us.
But storm or still,
numb or poised in attention,
we inhale, exhale, inhale,
encompassed, encompassed.

Denise LevertovIn Whom We Live and Move and Have Our Being from “Selected Poems


Notes:

It’s been a long day

The Storm by machihuahua

But most hearts say, I want, I want,
I want, I want. My heart
is more duplicitous,
though no twin as I once thought.
It says, I want, I don’t want, I
want, and then a pause.
It forces me to listen […]

It is a constant pestering
in my ears, a caught moth, limping drum,
a child’s fist beating
itself against the bedsprings:
I want, I don’t want.
How can one live with such a heart?

Long ago I gave up singing
to it, it will never be satisfied or lulled.
One night I will say to it:
Heart, be still,
and it will.

– Margaret Atwood, excerpts from The Woman Who Could Not Live With Her Faulty Heart from Selected Poems II: 1976 – 1986 

 


Notes:

It’s been a long day

release

You have been given questions to which you cannot be given answers.
You will have to live them out – perhaps a little at a time.’
And how long is that going to take?’
I don’t know. As long as you live, perhaps.’
That could be a long time.’
I will tell you a further mystery,’ he said. ‘It may take longer.”

~ Wendell Berry, Jayber Crow: A Novel


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