Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mary Oliver's Varanasi

She stood in the river, and you watched,
and wrote for us -- described her hands,
cupping the water and pouring it
over her body-- and I, reading this,
so much later,  and so far away,
can see her burnished skin
glistening in the sun;
her sari (I imagine it: pink and orange,
edged with stripes of gold)
damp against her body;
watch as she becomes one with the river
and come to know that oneness as my own:
deep in the core of being,
I feel the edges of embodiedness
dissolving in the cool wet ecstasy
of non-being.

She filled a vessel from the river,
and carried it back to some imagined shrine.
You filled a vessel, too,
of something very like the water of life
and pour it over every reader,
dipping into the wealth of creation;
drenching each in indivisibility.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this beautiful reaction to Mary Oliver's poem. You captured the essence of it. I will also mention it in my blog post about the poem, Varanasi.

Diane Walker said...

Here's a link to Ken's blog post about Varanasi:

Thanks, Ken!