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"Goldfinches" by Mary Oliver

It has been a while that I want to add this poem to my Blog, only I had never taken a photo of a goldfinch. Yesterday one stayed long enough on a branch to let me take the picture. She seemed to also be enjoying the sun in her chest, after a few hours of rain.

Thanks to this sweet female goldfinch, and to Mary Oliver. Enjoy!


In the fields  we let them have—  in the fields

we don’t want yet— 

where thistles rise  out of the marshlands of spring, and spring open—  each bud a settlement of riches— 

a coin of reddish fire—  the finches

wait for midsummer,  for the long days,

  for the brass heat,  for the seeds to begin to form in the hardening thistles,  dazzling as the teeth of mice,  but black,

filling the face of every flower.  Then they drop from the sky.  A buttery gold,  they swing on the thistles, they gather

the silvery down, they carry it

in their finchy beaks  to the edges of the fields,  to the trees,

. . .

as though their minds were on fire

with the flower of one perfect idea—  and there they build their nests

and lay their pale- blue eggs, 

every year, 

and every year

the hatchlings wake in the swaying branches in the silver baskets, 

and love the world.  Is it necessary to say any more? Have you heard them singing in the wind, above the final fields?  Have you ever been so happy in your life?

From the book "Devotions", Pinguin Press 2017

female godfinch
Female goldfinch enjoying the sun after the rain. Belmont, California January 2020

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