The moths


There’s a kind of white moth, I don’t know

what kind, that glimmers

by mid-May

in the forest, just

as the pink moccasin flowers

are rising.

If you notice anything,

it leads you to notice


and more.

And anyway

I was so full of energy.

I was always running around, looking

at this and that.

If I stopped

the pain 

was unbearable.

If I stopped and thought, maybe

the world

can’t be saved,

the pain

was unbearable.

Mary Oliver. USA (1935-2019)

The summer day


Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean-

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll trough the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver. USA (1935-2019)

Watering the stones


Every summer I gather a few stones from

the beach and keep them in a glass bowl.

Now and again I cover them with water,

and they drink. There’s no question about 

this; I put tinfoil over the bowl, tightly,

yet the water disappears. This doesn’t

mean we ever have a conversation, or that

they have the kind of feelings we do, yet

it might mean something.

Whatever the stones are, they don’t lie in the water

and no nothing.

Some of my friends refuse to believe it

happens, even though they’ve seen it. But

a few others -I’ve seen them walking down

the beach holding a few stones, and they

look at them rather more closely now.

Once in a while, I swear, I’ve even heard

one or two of them saying “hello.”

Which, I think, does no harm to anyone or

anything, does it?

Mary Oliver. USA (1935-2019)



You might see an angel anytime

and anywhere. Of course you have

to open your eyes to a kind of

second level, but it’s not really


The whole business of

what’s reality and what isn’t has

never been solved and probably

never will be. So I don’t care to

be too definite about anything.

I have a lot of edges called Perhaps 

and almost nothing you can call

Certainty. For myself, but not

for other people. That’s a place

you just can’t get into, not

entirely anyway, other people’s


I’ll just leave you with this.

Mary Oliver. USA (1935-2019)



Así como del fondo de la música

brota una nota

que mientras vibra crece y se adelgaza

hasta que en otra música enmudece,

brota del fondo del silencio

otro silencio, aguda torre, espada,

y sube y crece y nos suspende

y mientras sube caen

recuerdos, esperanzas,

las pequeñas mentiras y las grandes,

y queremos gritar y en la garganta

se desvanece el grito:

desembocamos al silencio

en donde los silencios enmudecen.

Octavio Paz. México (1914-1998)