Sunday, July 08, 2012

July 8th, 2012

By cool Siloam's shady rill
how sweet the lily grows
How sweet the breath beneath the hill
of Sharon's dewy rose.

Richard Heber

It is the time of the lilies, and they are so beautiful here in the town garden, and in the
garden on the hill.

Mary Oliver writes endearingly of the Lily, - of all lilies

I have been thinking
about living
like the lilies
that blow in the fields.

They rise and fall
in the edge of the wind,
and have no shelter
from the tongues of the cattle,

and have no closets or cupboards,
and have no legs.
Still I would like to be
as wonderful

as the old idea.
But if I were a lily
I think I would wait all day
for the green face

of the hummingbird
to touch me.
What I mean is,
could I forget myself

even in those feathery fields?
When Van Gogh
preached to the poor
of course he wanted to save someone -

most of all himself.
He wasn't a lily,
and wandering through the bright fields
only gave him more ideas

it would take his life to solve.
I think I will always be lonely
in this world, where the cattle
graze like a black and white river -

where the vanishing lilies
melt, without protest, on their tongues -
where the hummingbird, whenever there is a fuss,
just rises and floats away.

And do you know,  it is the last two lines of this poem that touch me most, and
which I find quite sweetly enticing.

"where the hummingbird, whenever there is a fuss,
just rises and floats away.

illustration Amy Wolfe


The Weaver of Grass said...

The lilies are not yet out here Hildred but I can almost smell them in your words today. Your header is exquisite too.

Morning's Minion said...

The words of the hymn/poem were immediately familiar, but I realized I couldn't put a tune to it--had probably never sung or played it. Had it perhaps fallen from popular favor even before my childhood?
An older hymnal from our church, Christ in Song, has the Woodbury setting, Siloam, C.M. A google search provided that on several 'midis' as well as a Glasgow choir version to Belmont--very slow, almost lugubrious. and then--of all things--a solo bagpipe rendition of the tune I'm seeing as more familiar--Siloam. I can now 'hear it in my head' to the tune Martydom. [I had an elderly friend years ago who loved to take the common meter hymns and sing them with different 'tunes' which I coaxed from her cottage organ.] Thank you for providing a bit of interest on a hot morning. And yes, the lilies are beautiful--mine were mostly victims of heat and drought this year.

Barb said...

The textured lily photo is beautiful, Hildred. I do love Mary Oliver's poems - she melds Nature with feeling. The Header is stunning.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Yes those last two lines are especially lovely and maybe that is why I love these beautiful birds -- maybe it's envy!

Lilies are blooming here (did I mention we are back in Oregon?) and I am so happy to see them.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah, Mary Oliver. I do so love her poetry.
The lilies are out here as well and I always have Casablanca lilies in a big blue vase in my sitting room.
Happy Summer, Hildred!