In memory of Mary Oliver 1935-2019
Now Are the Rough Things Smooth
by Mary Oliver
Now are the rough things smooth, and the smooth
things stand in flickering slats, facing the slow tarnish
of sun-fall. Summer is over. And therefore the
green is not green anymore but yellow, beige, russet,
rust: all the darknesses are beginning to settle in. And
therefore why pray to permanence, why not pray to
impermanence, to change, to – whatever comes next.
Willingness is next to godliness. Once I watched a
swallow playing with a feather, high in the blue air.
The swallow wanted to fly and frolic; the feather just
wanted to float. Many times the swallow dropped the
feather, which drifted away, then went diving and
careening after it. There are so many things to do in
this world, and so many things to be done. Right now
I’m glad to be agile and insistent. But, later! Then, I’ll
be happy to give up the quick burst, oh darling and
important world, and just float away.