"Spring Azures" by Mary Oliver
Updated: Aug 30, 2022
In spring the blue azures bow down at the edges of shallow puddles to drink the black rain water. Then they rise and float away into the fields. Sometimes the great bones of my life feel so heavy, and all the tricks my body knows― the opposable thumbs, the kneecaps, and the mind clicking and clicking— don’t seem enough to carry me through this world and I think: how I would like to have wings— blue ones— ribbons of flame. How I would like to open them, and rise from the black rain water.
And then I think of Blake, in the dirt and sweat of London—a boy
staring through the window, when God came
Of course, he screamed,
seeing the bobbin of God’s blue body
leaning on the sill,
and the thousand-faceted eyes.
Well, who knows.
Who knows what hung, fluttering, at the window
between him and the darkness.
Anyway, Blake the hosier’s son stood up
and turned away from the sooty sill and the dark city—
turned away forever
from the factories, the personal strivings,
to a life of the imagination.
Special thanks to Mary Liedel, who offered me her painting of a blue azure butterfly, specially to illustrate this poem.