Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

Mary Oliver’s Apprentice

Imitate an author and learn how to write. This was an assignment in my college Creative Writing class.

Freshen the Flowers, She Said
by Mary Oliver

So I put them in the sink, for the cool porcelain
was tender,
and took out the tattered and cut each stem
on a slant,
trimmed the black and raggy leaves, and set them all –
roses, delphiniums, daisies, iris, lilies,
and more whose names I don’t know, in bright new water –
gave them

a bounce upward at the end to let them take
their own choice of position, the wheels, the spurs,
the little sheds of the buds. It took, to do this,
perhaps fifteen minutes.
Fifteen minutes of music
with nothing playing.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Freshen the Fishbowl, He Said
by Kristine

So I put them near the window, for the view
was uncommon,
and took out half the water and moved the landscape
with my hands,
I chased the schools, and watched them all –
goldfish, guppies, killfish, mollies, barbs,
and more whose species I don’t know, in half murky water –
gave them

a waterfall of fresh tap water from a bucket to let them make
their own choice of school near the trees, the sunken ships,
the littlest of them all. It took, to do this,
perhaps twenty minutes.
Twenty minutes of care
with nothing dying.


 Philippians 4:5 (NIV)
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 


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2 thoughts on “Mary Oliver’s Apprentice

  1. delighting the senses!


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