Monday, May 26, 2014


                                               MOZART, for EXAMPLE
                                                        by Mary Oliver

                                      All the quick notes
                                      Mozart didn't have time to use
                                      before he entered the cloud-boat

                                      are falling now from the beaks
                                      of the finches
                                      that have gathered from the joyous summer

                                      into the hard winter
                                      and, like Mozart, they speak of nothing
                                      but light and delight,

                                      though it is true, the heavy blades of the world
                                      are still pounding underneath.
                                      And this is what you can do too, maybe,

                                      if you live simply and with a lyrical heart
                                      in the cumbered neighborhoods or even,
                                      as Mozart sometimes managed to, in a palace,

                                      offering tune after tune after tune,
                                      making some hard-hearted prince
                                      prudent and kind, just by being happy.

The cardinal family that reigns over our small rose garden gives credence to Oliver's observation that our song birds "speak of nothing but light and delight."  Listening to the song birds and Mozart, I hope that I will someday master the art of living simply and with a lyrical heart.

Master of the Rose Garden

Mistress of the Rose Garden

. . . And Their New Spring Chick

I would rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach 10,000 stars how not to dance.
e.e. cummings

Mary Oliver's poem, "Mozart, for Example," is found in Thirst: Poems by Mary Oliver (Beacon Press: Boston, 2006).