Mary Oliver’s when death comes

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

I recently heard the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver, and I loved it very much. I’d never heard of Mary Oliver before. And now a few days later I came across when death comes, the poem inserted into a book of which the pages did not turn for an hour, as I read over and over again the words spread across a two-page fold at the beginning of a chapter, Mary Oliver’s poem when death comes, and I never grew tired of it.

The arriving sun to my neighbourhood came as an advantage to my part, as a means to come across several people to say hello to whilst walking back from the bus stop to my house that are in no hurry, once again meeting a neighbour I could not recall seeing before except on one occasion whilst visiting a church she attended.

As Mary Oliver speaks of not simply visiting this world, I find the seasons have brought me together with people I would not otherwise have met. Today opening with hello, wonderful day isn’t it? And in the pouring rain with a tap on a shoulder, would you like to come under my umbrella?
We find the individuals to be completely unique, as Mary Oliver speaks of daisies and lions and musical names, the distance between us is shortened and we are reminded of our familiarity with one another in a world alike a field filled with the same type of flowers but which are all different in their own beautiful, extraordinary ways.

I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

Sighing when there seems too much to do, sighing when there seems too little to do, frightened of speaking the words from your heart, frightened of speaking to someone unknown, arguing with those who view something differently, arguing with those who try to stop you expressing yourself.

Replace the sighs, the fear, the protests… with a smile.
A smile, a chuckle, a giggle, a hug, a jump, a skip, a dance, a song… with love.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

Take every moment as your last… never pass up an opportunity to make yourself and others smile. Don’t let those beautiful moments pass you by. Live them!
Live life to the full.

Oh I do like this poem.

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