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Mysteries, Yes

Mary Oliver writes many poems about life’s mysteries, life’s questions, and the sacred spaces we enter in listening. During Sabbath time, I use her poetry to focus on stillness and allow questions to emerge. They poke their heads forward and are always joined by other questions. The answers are less relevant than the wondering that flows from each question. The mysteries are truly too marvelous to be understood.

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity,
while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

24 responses »

  1. Beautiful and true, thank you.

  2. Mary Oliver’s writing is profound, simple, true, beautiful. She’s my favorite poet. Judy

  3. Oops…didn’t notice that I was repeating two adjectives from the message above. Oh well. Just proves their truth…

  4. there is a sacred beauty
    and wonder
    and knowing

  5. You have an art of picking out some beautiful poems. Thanks

  6. Love this poem, Ivon! Inspiring, indeed!

  7. I could get lost in a Mary Oliver poem all day long!

  8. I so love this woman’s poetry. Thank you again for introducing me to her months ago. Blessings, Natalie 🙂

  9. Mary Oliver poems – what a delight. Thanks for this.

  10. Such a good poem, and I agree completely, laughing in astonishment and being comfortable with not having the answers is a wise place to be! 🙂

  11. Reblogged this on àlaMuze Notes and commented:
    Thanks to Teacher as Transformer, I have just been introduced to poet Mary Oliver. Enjoy the beauty of Nature and Spirit.


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