A Painting by Józef Czapski

A TRIBUTE TO MARY OLIVER

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

MARY OLIVER (1935-2019)

–who wrote my favorite volume of poetry, “The Leaf and the Cloud”.

She will always be the onomatopoeia of flowers,
the metaphor of fourteen-year old locusts and the old oak branch,
an alliteration of dogs, unleashed, exploring
swamp, puddle, briar patch, bramble of leaf, sieve of earth:

Can you not see her in black snake
dipping herself into black pond too early for dawn?
In the imprint of bent clover wet with dew?
Near the stone of the slug where garden snail glistens?
In the soft petals of the apple tree painting both tree and earth?

Ants and thorns, love and stars, moon and a litter of light across water,
fox and her teeth, wolf and her courage, spider and her thick strands of silk.