in fall fields,
in rumpy branches,
saffron and orange and pale gold,
in little towers,
soft as mash,
sneeze-bringers and seed-bearers,
full of bees and yellow beads and perfect flowerets
and orange butterflies.
I don't suppose
much notice comes of it, except for honey,
and how it heartens the heart with its
I don't suppose anything loves it except, perhaps,
the rocky voids
filled by its dumb dazzle.
I was just passing by, when the wind flared
and the blossoms rustled,
and the glittering pandemonium
leaned on me.
I was just minding my own business
when I found myself on their straw hillsides,
citron and butter-colored,
and was happy, and why not?
Are not the difficult labors of our lives
full of dark hours?
And what has consciousness come to anyway, so far,
that is better than these light-filled bodies?
on their airy backbones
they toss in the wind,
they bend as though it was natural and godly to bend,
they rise in a stiff sweetness,
in the pure peace of giving
one's gold away.
~ Mary Oliver
The poem "Goldenrod" was published in New and Selected Poems, Beacon Press, 1992.