by Mary Oliver, Why I Wake Early
The marsh hawk
as other hawks do,
work his wings
like soft hinges
the morning marsh,
or so it seems,
lays his breast upon the air
and the air, as if understanding,
floats him along
with his wings open,
and raised, just a little
beyond the horizontal-in thanks, perhaps,
to the great crystal carrier
of leaves and clouds-
And even though his shadow
his every tilt and flow, and even though
he must know that hunger will win,
he doesn't hurry,
but floats in wide circles
as he gazes
into the marshes below
his hard beak
and the hooks of his feet, as though
more lasting than meat.
At noon he's still there
above the brambles, the grass, the flat water,
where, in their almost stately disengagement,
the incredible dampness and darkness
To decipher this poem would mean to miss the point of the poem, which is to simply enjoy it. To allow the words to paint a picture of what is and be content with just being and visualizing.
Hawks are messengers since they can fly up to the heavens and back down to earth. In this poem, the marsh hawk's message is to enjoy world around you without stressing out about the circumstances. Oliver writes that the hawk knows it will remain hungry, yet, it stays and allows the wind to carry him.
She writes that the air floats him along and I asked you to feel that in your yoga poses this morning; allowing the poses to feel effortless like the wind.
"To move forward simply set your intentions, be grateful for what you have, be open to what is possible, and the rest just happens as a beautiful and effortless flow." – Bryant McGill
American poet Archibald Mac Leish wrote to Mary Oliver: "You have indeed entered the kingdom. You have done something better than create your own world: you have discovered the world we all live in and do not see and cannot feel."