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Best Poems Written by Mary Oliver Rotman

Below are the all-time best Mary Oliver Rotman poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Randomlings 1-34


Randomling 1:  Matthew Macfadyen

I believe I'm in love with Matthew Macfadyen
He inspires in me a terribly bad yen
But as poetry goes
His name 'spires woes
Cause nothing rhymes with "Macfadyen”.


Randomling 2: Birthday Wishes
  
For my birthday, I would like a man.
I wonder---can you get one from a can?
Or maybe from a catalog?
Maybe I'll just get a dog.

Randomling 3: Yet Another Cat Poem

Cats:
toddlers in fur
senior citizens with retractable claws
lions in their own minds
lunch in the minds of dogs.

Randomling 4:  Desert Woes

A sage river in a field of sand:
         so flows hope in a barren land;
                   the crippled heart in prosthetic steel,
                             hacked and scarred, a vulture’s meal.

Randomling 5:  Dark Poetry

Follow poetry to its source;
There find heartbreak and remorse.
Follow poetry to the bitter end,
And there find death, its bosom friend.

Randomling 6: Ode to Bananas

Bananas
an underappreciated fruit
sentenced to banananality
because yellow is their long suit.


Randomling 7: Untitled  

Sorry,
this heart is closed to deposits.
There's no more room for pain.

Randomling 8: Untitled

My heart is sealed in a cold steel vault,
and I’ve lost the combination.

Randomling 9: Joyce Kilmer 2015

I think that I shall never see
A man as useful as a tree.
One has uses by the score;
The other one is apt to snore.

Randomling 10:  Bedtime Prayers

Now I lay me down to sleep,
A leaden heart is mine to keep.
If I should die before I wake--
Now there’s an offer I’d gladly take.   

Randomling 11:  The Devil Wind

Tornadoes
Fury with a smoky tail
Eddies of destruction
Deceitful beauty, enchanting danger
Death sporting a makeover
____________________________________________________________________________________
DON'T READ #12 IF YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAR ME TALK TO MY SON ABOUT CERTAIN ASPECTS OF THE BIRDS AND BEES_________________________ 



Randomling 12:  A Boy's Best Friend

Your penis—it is not a toy
I told my little son.
O yes it is, he parried me
It's quite my favorite one.

Randomling 13:  Fault Lines

I have a bathroom mirror
that's grown faulty over time.
My reflection is no longer true;
it's developed little lines!

Randomling 14:  Shakespeare 101		

“To be or not to be. That is the question.”
--What question?
THE question!
--Whaddya mean, THE question?
Never mind.																		

Randomling 15: Christmas?

Peace on earth to men of good credit
Who give the gift of corporate profit
in the holy name of commercialism.

Randomling 16:  Musical Believer

Though my conscience sleeps,
wrapped in the Valium of
agnosticism, it awakens to 
the music of Mozart--
once more knowing God
by the sound of His voice.

Randomling 17: Vacuum

I didn't write a poem when you died.
The words would not come.
Perhaps I felt too deeply,
perhaps not enough;
or
maybe I died too.   10/06/01

Randomling 18: Insanity

Insanity is underrated
Its drawbacks,much overstated.
How else to do what you darn well please
And accomplish it with so much ease?

Randomling 19: Dog Day Afternoon

WATER! BALL! CHASE!
salt, waves, undertow
I don't know what's going
on here, but I'm HAPPY!

Randomling 20: Opposites Attract

i am matter---love, antimatter
never to meet save to explode
i am space, love is time
parallel dimensions never to meet

Randomling 21: Puppy Love

I ride a leaky newspaper raft
Adrift on the linoleum
Anxiously awaiting an
An attack of smelly
squirming happiness
covered in fuzz:
Puppy love.

Randomling 22: Newton's Poultice

Apple falls from tree
Newton (ouch!) takes notice
Comes up with law of gravity
while wearing a poultice
on the solstice

Randomling 23: Ticking

And the clock on the wall kept on ticking
while my life fell apart all around me.
Sweet memories faded to shadow
as my heart fell to pieces inside me.
And the clock on the wall kept on ticking
Relentlessly ticking, ticking
While my life fell apart all around me.

Randomling 24: Untitled

eternity
a mosaic assembled from
shimmering, glimmering
tiles of delight and
black-glazed stones of despair
interlocking snowflakes
in seamless beauty

Randomling 25: Seasonal Lament
Daylight shrinks end at both end as summer falls into the arm of winter. arm
Randomling 26: Untitled
I didn't want to love you.
Randomling 27: Pills Depression is days and nights curled fetal-like in a dark room, no interest in the world outside, idly wondering if there are enough pills in the bottle to kill you, then thinking it's not worth the effort to find out because you're dead inside already. Randomling 28: Guilt By Association Fresh morning light frames the cat, surrounded by piles of dirt and deceased plants, looking innocent. Randomling 29: Bell the Cat How do you give a cat a bath? Maybe you can do the math. All I know is she stinks to high heaven. And of us there are only seven. How many humans to bathe a cat? Definitely more than where we're at! Randomling 30: Muse
I want to write a poem using the word gossamer. “Gossamer.”
Randomling 31: Ripples
Canoes rock gently under the waxing moon. Black water ripples, painting a beautiful scene under the scented pines.
Randomling 32: Sunshine Waterfall I cleanse my face in a sunshine waterfall, luxuriate in a sunshine shower. Waterfall flow and warm me; sprinkle lemon drops through my hair. Randomling 33: Salon Treatment Hurricanes scour everything they touch, then rinse and blow dry. Randomling 34: My Window Blue sky pokes its face through the canopy of trees. Heat wave is over!

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015



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The Call of the Alpha Male

Robin Hood, man in tights Julius Caesar, might makes right Alexander, called "the Great" Sitting Bull, righteous hate Robert the Bruce, Attila the Hun Charlemagne, Napoleon Hear the call of the alpha male! Warriors leave a bloody trail. George Washington, man on the spot JFK and Camelot Thomas Jefferson, renaissance man Abe Lincoln took a stand Ronald Reagan, Richard III Henry VIII, Harry Byrd Hear the call of the alpha male! In politics it's all for sale. Hemingway, Shakespeare, Kant, and Plato Chaucer, Shelley, Cicero, Cato Voltaire, Dickens, Rene Descartes Byron, Lawrence, Jean-Paul Sartre Hear the call of the alpha male! Some prefer to write the tale. Wolfgang Mozart, dead so young Leonard Bernstein's song is sung Picasso, art you love to hate Ludwig Beethoven, voice of Fate Bach, Lennon, and Shostakovich Monet, Manet, Buddy Rich Hear the call of the alpha male! Art and music fill some sails. Joe Montana, football star Michael Jordan raised the bar Wayne Gretzsky, Hall of Fame Jesse Owens changed the game Rockne, Ruth, Gehrig, Orr Chamberlain, Beckham, Man O' War Hear the call of the alpha male! Athletic prowess up for sale. Tyrone Power, Harrison Ford John Glenn, Sir Thomas More Edmund Hillary, John Donne Albert Einstein, Brigham Young James Dean, Alvin York Margaret Thatcher, Robert Bork Audie Murphy, Mohandas Gandhi Chris Columbus, Walter Ralegh Hear the call of the alpha male! Now it's time to end this tale. Woe to she who hears his cry, Destined, like as not, to die; For alpha males blaze bright and sweet, But she-moths burn inside their heat.

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015

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Pemaquid Point Elegy

Scatter my ashes at Pemaquid Point,
Let the wind sail them home to the sea.
Cradle of life, be my cradle in death,
And set my spirit free.

Sun will warm the daylight hours;
The lighthouse illume the night;
Waves provide rhythm and gulls give voice---
Music to ease my flight.

Eternal rocks will form my tomb,
Sand my quilt shall be,
Protecting from shipwreck and raging storms,
And I’ll become one with the sea.

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015

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Idaho Sunset

Slate sky 
streaked with a painter's acid dream
caresses the mountains, bleeding on their peaks.

Cloud curtains
 lower, then rise, on an ever-changing
 psychedelic happening.

but 

Fracturing fingers 
of darkness pierce the canvas,
draining the colors,

Drawing the curtains closed.

                                          07/2015

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015

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Nuclear-Free Zone

You should know that I've
reinforced the bunker
I built around my heart
until it can withstand a
     direct hit
     ground zero
     head-on collision
from a YOU-bomb.

I've shielded it to withstand
the worst EMP (emotional mutilation potential)
you can generate
and to protect me from
the flash burns of passion, 
Not to mention that I've lined it with lead
to save me from the fallout
of your so-called love.

So-
hit me with your worst.
My bunker--and I-- are ready.

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015



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Lessons Well Learned

Lessons Well Learned

(from The John Poems)

You taught me what love is
     then took it away.
You became my sunlight
      then banished the day.
You awakened my body
      to love of a man
Then condemned me to live
     without the touch of your hand.
You brought life to my heart
     and opened my soul;
You nourished my mind
     and made me feel whole.

But now thanks to you,
     I've also learned pain.
I know now that loneliness
    Can drive you insane.
I've learned of betrayal,
     loneliness, mistrust---
And I know understand
     the myth that was us.

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015

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Scar Tissue

The bed offers cold where you used to lie a chill that lingers  when dawn paints the sky. Your abandoned chair across from mine is a constant reproach  and an unwelcome sign  of a love that died.  On outings with friends  I feel their pity though I wear my best mask  and try to be witty. The places I visit  are different and yet something always reminds me won’t let me forget the love that died. Time has its way with all wounds I've discovered granting healing to some  letting Death cure the others. And with every new wound  the scar tissue spreads, fibrous and nerveless, ‘til sensation is dead. And it’s hard to say if I fear this or not maybe this ether is what I have sought all along.

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015

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Astroturf and Snow Part 2 of Trilogy

(Part 2 of Trilogy for My Father)

We stand on cemetery Astroturf
strategically placed to spare us the dread hole,
snow scaling the tops of our shoes
to compete with the ice in our hearts.

The old priest’s boots peek from beneath
a cassock that dangles below his parka.
He jokes gamely about the weather,
reading prayers for my father, a man he never met,
with shaking hands and chattering teeth.
He is a stranger recruited by the others lest someone
discover the shame of self-inflicted death.

Numb in every way it’s possible to be numb,
we await the blows of a grief that suicide denied us
and summon memories that refuse to respond 
while, in their place, we have 
Astroturf
and snow.

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015

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The Fledgling

A fledgling crow huddled in
the grass beneath the drooling
gazes of my curious dogs.
Its eyes were blue.

And in the tree, its mother screamed

In my hands it lay, gently confused.
Too young to fear me,
it opened its thirsty beak and greedily
swallowed water from a syringe.

And outside the window, its mother screamed. 

I scratched its head,
stroked its breast,
and boxed it for its journey
to a refuge for homeless birds.
And, as I carried it to the car,
its mother circled overhead.

And screamed. 

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015

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Oxymoron

prairie lighthouse desert ship arid ocean soothing whip ugly sunset healing pain somber puppy fiery rain gentle windstorm happy wail righteous sinner see-through veil eternal love random fate marriage vows fleeting hate

Copyright © Mary Oliver Rotman | Year Posted 2015

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