The Muses: A Prayer

On this last day of our reflections of The Muses and all those things, people and situations that bring us inspiration, insight and wisdom, we offer a poem from Mary Oliver whose gifts include her incredible ability to hear the Muses speak through nature, and a photo of one of Claude Monet’s Lily paintings.  The Muses speak through time and place–and human beings.

Morning Poem
Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange
sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again
and fasten themselves to the high branches —Monet_-_Seerosen5
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails
for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it
the thorn
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —
there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
every morning,
whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

from Dream Work (1986) by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver
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