Red Bird poetry….

I bought a book of poetry simply because of the title, “Red Bird”, and have been pleased to find in it many delights! I’ll share the two that are responsible for its title:

Red Bird – by Mary Oliver
Red bird came all winter
firing up the landscape
as nothing else could.

Of course I love the sparrows,
those dun-colored darlings,
so hungry and so many.

I am a God-fearing feeder of birds.
I know He has many children,
not all of them bold in spirit.

Still, for whatever reason –
perhaps because the winter is so long
and the sky so black-blue,

or perhpas because the heart narrows
as often as it opens –
I am grateful

that red bird comes all winter
firing up the landscape
as nothing else can do.

Red Bird Explains Himself – by Mary Oliver
“Yes, I was the brilliance floating over the snow
and I was the song in the summer leaves, but this was
only the first trick
I had hold of among my other mythologies,
for I also knew obedience: bringing sticks to the nest,
food to the young, kisses to my bride.

But don’t stop there, stay with me: listen.

I was the song that entered your heart
then I was the music of your heart, that you wanted and needed,
and thus wilderness bloomed there, with all its
followers: gardeners, lovers, people who weep
for the the death of rivers.

And this was my true task, to be the
music of the body. Do you understand? for truly the body needs
a song, a spirit, a soul. And no less, to make this work,
the soul has need of a body,
and I am both of the earth and I am of the inexplicable
beauty of heaven
where I fly so easily, so welcome, yes,
and this is why I have been sent, to teach this to your heart.”

I have written before about how God has used cardinals to speak to my heart about hope, about faithfulness, about encouragement. These poems captured what I have felt in catching a glimpse of a cardinal at times in the last 12-13 years, since He first used them to nurture my heart. These poems brought tears to my eyes, as I felt that my own experience had been expressed in someone else’s words so perfectly!