The loss of Mary Oliver prompted me to think about other poets who share Mary Oliver’s connection to the natural world. Among them is naturalist and Maine Literary Award winner Kathie Fiveash, whose published works include Island Naturalist, Earthbound and Broad Brook. Kathie is able to convey the intimate relationship she has with the earth in a lyrical voice that reflects her knowledge, reverence and gratitude. To hear Kathie reading her poem Blanket while viewing beautiful photographs, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rHtxqdyf2w.
Take every leaf on every tree
and put its tired green to bed,
and when the green has gone to sleep
and red and yellow lift their heads,
set them shining in the sky,
wild against the blue expanse.
Loosen them and let them fly,
stir the wind until they dance
in airy swirls. Then lay them down
under the gentle hands of rain.
Turn their colors all to brown,
decompose their withered veins,
press them drenched in sodden layers,
freeze them with your icy sighs,
bless them with your wintery prayers.
Under them the springtime lies.
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