Not today.

This is not the day you crumble into ashes.
This is not the day you go up in flames.
Not today.
No, the beast does not win. Not today. Today you won’t wage war on yourself, you will not go looking for landmines.
No my darling, you will not.
Not today.
This day was not made for broken edges and acid rain, not for salty eyes and empty coffee cups.
This is not the day you decide the curtain call, the final note, the last nail in the coffin.
Not today.
Do you hear me? Not fucking today.
Come what may today you will not stumble and stay down, you will not crash and burn, you will not drown.
You will come up for air. Stand up.

This is not how the story ends.

Not today.


mary oliver | a settlement

poetry dispatch & other notes from the underground


Poetry Dispatch No. 62 | April 2, 2006

A Settlement by Mary Oliver

Look, it’s spring. And last year’s loose dust has turned
into this soft willingness. The wind-flowers have come
up trembling, slowly the brackens are up-lifting their
curvaceous and pale bodies. The thrushes have come
home, none less than filled with mystery, sorrow,
happiness, music, ambition.

And I am walking out into all of this with nowhere to
go and no task undertaken but to turn the pages of
this beautiful world over and over, in the world of my mind.

* * *
Therefore, dark past,
I’m about to do it.
I’m about to forgive you

for everything.

from WHAT DO WE KNOW, Poems and Prose Poems

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