Competition Ends 28th January 2019 3:57pm
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Bone - Celebration of Mary Oliver

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1790

Poetry Contest

The Classic Corner: Mary Oliver

Co-Host - JohnnyBlaze ( also the amazing artist who rendered Oliver's portrait )

Part VIII in an ongoing series introducing serious writers of DUP to the most well-known poets, both classical and modern.  

Mary Oliver ( b 09.10.1935 ) is an “indefatigable guide to the natural world,” wrote Maxine Kumin in the Women’s Review of Books, “particularly to its lesser-known aspects.” Oliver’s verse focuses on the quiet of occurrences of nature: industrious hummingbirds, egrets, motionless ponds, “lean owls / hunkering with their lamp-eyes.” Kumin noted that Oliver “stands quite comfortably on the margins of things, on the line between earth and sky, the thin membrane that separates human from what we loosely call animal.”

Her awards include:

Pulitzer Prize for Poetry
1984 · American Primitive

National Book Award for Poetry
1992 · New and Selected Poems

PEN New England Award
1991 · The House of Light

Goodreads Choice Awards Best Poetry
2012 · A Thousand Mornings

Guidelines  

Write a new poem honoring Oliver from one of the following poetry titles. Bonus points if you actually read the poem and include a reference other than the title within it.    

1)   The Journey

2)   Sleeping in the Forest

3)   Wild Geese

4)   Poem ( the spirit likes to dress up )

5)  Morning Poem

6)  The Swan

7)  Bone

8)  Song of the Builders

9)  Where Does the Dance Begin, Where Does it End?

10)  When Death Comes

11)  A Dream of Trees

12)  Mindful

The Rules

1.  One entry per DUP persona.  

2. No erotica; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW.  

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300.  

4. Any form is acceptable.  

5. Hashtag your poem #MaryOliver and link to your poem here. Do NOT copy paste your poem to the competition. The point is to eventually direct visitors searching for Oliver to your poem via the hashtag we hope will eventually be implemented by the Webmiss.  

Comp will be judged by a panel including myself.  You have one month; best of luck to all entrants.      


poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1790

Wild Geese ( After Mary Oliver )

There are no instructions to glean wisdom;
no table of contents directing the living
to their appropriate chapter in life’s manual –
except to distinguish differences between us.

There is only an instinct to survive –
one deeper than holding your breath;

No one taught you to do that.

In the foreign legion of womb
you inhaled amniotic fluid
knowing it sustained growth.

No one taught you to do that –
to hold your breath in the birth canal
or your first bath; you just knew
water would retrieve your life –
then every labor you pained being born
would have been in vain.

So, why do you try so hard to understand
what cannot be understood by anyone
except in relation to personal perception
and spiritual evolution?

All you have to do is listen to the drum
of blood in your ear when submerged
into the still depth of a bath or pond
where language opens the memory
of being formed already knowing:

You are life’s prayer of becoming –
and its answer.      
~      
     
#MaryOliver
Written by Ahavati
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poet
JohnnyBlaze
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 945

All Night Slumber Party

  
 
I pond-ered as if rain;
my wits slowly gathering; shape  
shifting consciousness expanding  
coming to more senses than  
I was previously aware of.  
Embraced against bosom in welcoming arms,  
the Earth invited me to take rest in her cottage,  
yet we ended up chatting all night    
under a porch woven of branched rafters  
frosted with moonlight and starfire white;  
illuminated miniature kingdoms everwhere  
about us guarded by little moth-men  
and counseled by wise owl guardians.  
When morning came -  
who knew sleeping in the forest  
would be so enchanting?  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
#MaryOliver  
   
 
Written by JohnnyBlaze
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Non-entry entry.

poet
Commentonly
Lost Thinker
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Joined 5th Oct 2016
Forum Posts: 14

I have tried all of these and keep failing, hopefully something will come of this one 😅

poet
yelluw_always
Haley Quaquaversal
Thought Provoker
United States
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Joined 24th Dec 2018
Forum Posts: 51

The Collector

1.    
 
Unusual, in the distance, stillness    
beneath a hanging    
wispy algae as it waves    
a flag. The pelican    
whittled down    
to its base form. Stark, stranded, smooth-    
an orange beak    
like a bird of paradise and I sought heaven    
in your duplicity, in your triplicity,    
in your multitudes, a million    
lights emerge    
as static on the sea, I did not see it.    
I believe wishes come    
   
2.    
   
from the wing bone. Funny,    
life is not a stranger, but death is.    
You can touch it, taste it, feel it,    
but not know it.    
I took the bone and weighted less;    
brought it home on one last flight.    
Washed in the basin away most  
of the miasma, tiny, white on white sins.    
Left a few in the creases    
for remembrance, the orbs of moments,    
making up your life.    
It’s your story to tell; here’s some tea    
leaves falling on the floor.    
I brush them under the couch,    
as you only save what can be kept.    
   
3.    
   
The call of the sea    
washes over me    
at night. Fishing, as neon shines    
through the gills- my blinds,    
for compassion.    
In my sleep, I do not hear, therefore-    
from the shelf, I have put    
them inside myself;    
the ear bone and the wing bone    
to substitute the gaps.    
There then, I fly and collect like clouds    
water in my throat. And I hear    
the clouds gasping as I do    
on the shore. What a treasure.    
Would you two buffer me a while?    
   
   
#MaryOliver
Written by yelluw_always (Haley Quaquaversal)
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poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1790

Mindful ( After Mary Oliver )

God days, I call them –    
creation aligned        
with mindful being      
despite contrast;        
       
such as the truth        
of this simple moment:        
no accolade, award        
or holiday exists as reason        
to appreciate its breath;        
       
only Life itself:    
winter grass    
a frozen lake -    
this skeletal leaf         
~      
     
#MaryOliver
Written by Ahavati
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poet
Jade-Pandora
jade tiger
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 9th Nov 2015
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Sleeping In The Forest

*  
*Yes.*  
*It was*  
*an embrace*  
*I felt when I ventured*  
*into the embryo.*  
*
*Of*  
*when*  
*I crouched*  
*and peered, and was*
*the memory of*  
*  
*A*  
*faintly*  
*familiar feel*  
*of freedom, that I had*  
*merely saved*  
*  
*And*  
*let slip,*  
*till I was with*  
*the earth while she had*  
*softly whispered*  
*  
*The*  
*first lesson*  
*she ever taught me,*  
*of the worlds in raindrops*  
*and night wings.*  
*  
*It*  
*had not*  
*yet dawned on*  
*the treetops or in my mind,*  
*when a shower*  
*  
*Of*  
*stars*  
*suddenly erupted*  
*in a perfect silence, while*  
*the light of each*  
*  
*Ice*  
*firebrand*  
*quickly flickered*  
*between the pine needles,*  
*and raced across*  
*  
*The*  
*warm*  
*living soil*  
*being turned,*  
*that cradled me with*  
*its lullaby, before dying out.*  
*To sleep & sail by the reckoning*  
*of the North Star.*  
***  
 
 
 
#MaryOliver  
 
 
Written in the poetic form known as Concrete, which structures the poem with the words/lines to suggest the silhouettes of living and/or inanimate objects. In this case: Fir trees.  
 
Written by Jade-Pandora (jade tiger)
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poet
JohnnyBlaze
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 945

Renewal

  
 
It was after we met
I knew in this Heart  
the journey led  
straight to your doorstep.  
I ignored voices in my head;  
exhausting critics who repeatedly said  
the Universe was not in my corner ...  
but I proved them cowardly  
as well as wrong,    
refusing to give up on the melody:  
You and I, instruments in song  
keyed to the vibration of Us.  
Thus, you brought shining stars    
back into my dark night of the soul  
and cards turned face up held firm  
the Tarot'ed promise that in    
finally being myself  
all roads pointed to  
You.  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
#MaryOliver  
   
 
Written by JohnnyBlaze
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Non-entry entry.

poet
gothicsurrealism
Daniel Long
Twisted Dreamer
United States
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Joined 26th Nov 2018
Forum Posts: 24

Sleeping in The Forest (Make Earth Your Heaven)

Mother-Earth remembered her,
She took Mary back so tenderly.
Like the willow tree, her mother’s hair swayed so gracefully.
Mother nature’s tune humming as she blanketed her in leaves so lovingly.

She slept as never before, a breeze billowing her bedroom curtains,
nothing between her and the white streaks of falling stars.
Her childhood dreams feathered as Autumn leaves
beneath her favorite tree branch.

The small kingdoms of insects in her bedchamber
buzzing throughout the moonlit hours.
Mother always said at bedtime, “make earth your heaven.”
Geese and swans outside her bedroom window whirring in their song.

Tossing, turning and tearing at night,
coping with the glow of yellow, eerie moonlight.
By morning the swans had carried her away many times
into the sun of her serene dreams, leaving the moon-glow.


#MaryOliver
Written by gothicsurrealism (Daniel Long)
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poet
Josh
Dangerous Mind
Portugal
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Joined 2nd Feb 2017
Forum Posts: 172

"The Journey" Revisited

Energised … we make our way forward
cross swords with narrow words
project outward unfinished stories
cement gaseous thoughts

ignore Kachinas blocking our path
fall forward when we fall at all
demystify enquirers’ questions
hold counsel with the night-owl

shoot the odd desperate prayer
revisit karmic inheritance
sense when effort goes nowhere
scan keenly the border-fence

heeding some ancient biblical warning
try never to look back
stepping relentlessly ever onwards
get back on foot-slogged track

holding firmly our risked intention
to finally make it through
defying nay-saying dead convention
we know what we have to do.

Who knows what greater picture is served
when one true life is saved?
Purity handles its own secret measures
and we? We make our way.




#MaryOliver


Written by Josh
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poet
slipalong
Thought Provoker
United Kingdom
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Joined 1st Jan 2018
Forum Posts: 132

A dream of trees # mary oliver

the dormant state after leaves have dropped
I dream't that spring would stop the rot
what happened to the Do-Do tree
they burned down to a stump
the pyrenean ibex that stood upon the hill
the branches just like antlers  
the golden crested Quagga
that stood upon the plains
these all were living forms
but now alas are lost
the planet warms and the virus bites
the ash falls sick with deadly blight
poison fungi its spores like mites
suck the sap and brown the lingered death  
I do not wake refreshed  
the forest like me has a troubled sleep
Written by slipalong
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poet
SatInUGal
Kumar
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 31st Dec 2015
Forum Posts: 370

Is the poem I wrote in the other comp eligible for this? Feels appropriate.

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1790

SatInUGal said:Is the poem I wrote in the other comp eligible for this? Feels appropriate.

It wasn't written specifically as a tribute poem, though I'm sure you'll have no problemo writing another inspired by one of her poems listed above! Let me speak with  Johnny in the morning and I'll get back with you.

poet
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 1790

SatInUGal said:Is the poem I wrote in the other comp eligible for this? Feels appropriate.

Hey! Spoke to Johnny and we both feel that the other would not be in the spirit of the comp because it was prewritten for another comp.  Prewrites are not allowed in this one.  

After the way you unscrambled the Poetic Medic comp, we both feel you'll have no trouble with a new entry here!

Thank you for understanding; we look forward to your entry.

poet
SatInUGal
Kumar
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 31st Dec 2015
Forum Posts: 370

Thanks. I look forward to writing it.

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