Monuments (for Mary Oliver)

The sky glowing
mother of all pearl
over a still-brown city
at Mary Oliver’s sundown
reminds me
that the softness
of my animal-body
belies its core strength

There was that fever after all
and chills
knives and heartbreak

I know warm days are ahead
and might just yet
erect my own altar
to the unsung strength
of small things
the good of shiny things
like today’s
abalone sunset


  1. Ever more beautiful with each reading.

  2. Ms. Oliver had a core strength that many do not possess, or comprehend in others. This is beautiful Marian.

  3. Maybe we need more abalone sunsets to believe that tomorrow the sun will raise again.

  4. I love the swirl if colors in an abalone shell. This poem gives promise to an amazing day

  5. This one has mad me burst in smiles. That last stanza, in particular, is a delight to jump into over and over and over... I just love that altar (in the mind's horizon).

  6. This is beyond beautiful, Marian!❤️ Worth a countless reads.

  7. Small things sometimes matter the most. I hope that you are feeling better!

  8. Glowing skies ending with a beautiful sunset. The small items and events in between, good or bad, make for nice writing.

  9. Oliver's singing ghost in our inner ear can echo bleak winter sunset a mother of ALL pearl -- even our saddest reduction bear that rousing possibility. Yes and yes and yes. I'd read that Oliver had a horrible childhood -- some depth of abuse -- how could she have learned to say such a Yes? How can we?

  10. I love the balance of sadness with the soft insistence on hope. Pain might lay us low, but soft and fragile as a heart is, it can heal and rise again.


  11. The opening lines have burnt into my brain’s retina:
    ‘The sky glowing
    mother of all pearl
    over a still-brown city’
    and I love the ‘abalone sunset’.

  12. So beautiful...I need to build my altar to small things, those tiny gifts we fail to celebrate.

  13. Quite exquisite. I had to read it 3 times!

  14. Excellent piece of writing, Marian. I love the "abalone sunset", and the idea of building an altar to small things.

  15. I hope you feel better, Marian. and a killer last line ~

  16. That last stanza is pure magic. I see you still have those chops Babyluv...just sayin'.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!