White Flowers (audio poem, photos, & music)

“White Flowers” by Mary Oliver, reading by Michele Lee
White Flowers
by Mary Oliver

Last night
in the fields
I lay down in the darkness
to think about death,
but instead I fell asleep,
as if in a vast and sloping room
filled with those white flowers
that open all summer,
sticky and untidy,
in the warm fields.
When I woke
the morning light was just slipping
in front of the stars,
and I was covered
with blossoms.
I don’t know
how it happened—
I don’t know
if my body went diving down
under the sugary vines
in some sleep-sharpened affinity
with the depths, or whether
that green energy
rose like a wave
and curled over me, claiming me
in its husky arms.
I pushed them away, but I didn’t rise.
Never in my life had I felt so plush,
or so slippery,
or so resplendently empty.
Never in my life
had I felt myself so near
that porous line
where my own body was done with
and the roots and the stems and the flowers

“White Flowers” was a delightful read! For more Mary Oliver, click link for her bio and for my recitation of Oliver’s poem: “Last Night the Rain Spoke to Me.” Thank you for visiting and listening. Be well. 💗 Michele

The launch party for, Wounds I Healed: The Poetry of Strong Women is happening now!

Today (6/18) at 3pm BST/10am ET. Join the live stream and listen to several poets read their work live! Link below will take you to Editor Ingrid’s YouTube channel. Clicking on cover will take you to book.


I am excited for everyone involved and to have two of my poems included in this newly released, number #1 best-selling anthology.

“Intro” by the band, White Flowers

Photos: my images from Hendricks Park, Eugene, OR; photo of me taken by my friend, Patricia

For more Oregon flower and beach photos, visit my IG page ~ @mlsefton

© 2022 Michele Lee Sefton

89 thoughts on “White Flowers (audio poem, photos, & music)

    1. Wonderfully rich – yes, it is! A gorgeous poem. Oliver had a way of writing so simply and so beautifully and her connection to nature will inspire for many generations. ✨Thank you, Art. Best to you!


      1. Oh yes it was awesome!
        Oh thank you so much. I actually wasn’t planning on reading this morning… I was ready for the dance and singing show.. 🙏😂💕
        Luckily my morning eyes adjusted. How about the unmade be background 😂😂😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are welcome. You did great! Dancing and singing sounds fun! 😁 It’s never too early for that. 😆 The boxes were a bit small on my small laptop, which is how I viewed this morning, so I did not see great detail. You sounded great! 😁 👏🏻

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you so much Michele!
        Oh thanks so much for letting me know that! I wasn’t planning to attend until the boys ditched me. I was so unprepared so that’s was great to know. So much fun to put faces to names!!
        Really lovely the authors and poets are spectacular! Can’t wait to read your piece! Happy to know. Happy Sunday! 💕❤️💕❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  1. So gorgeous audio poem White Flowers and your sweet voice so happy to hear 🌷🙏♥️
    dreams was so inspiring and grace 👍🏻👏 what a beautiful scene that you dear standing
    one film star 🌟 is , stunning photography and the white flowers lovely and music 👌🌸
    Thank you for sharing 🌷🙏♥️🌷

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your comment makes me happy. Two happy ladies! 😊 It is an enchanting place. 💖 Thank you, Thattamma, for the abundant kindness and positivity you share. Thank you for sharing your light in the ways that you do! ✨ Best to you. 💐🤗

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad you enjoyed my selection and reading. Thank you, Brad! I would not mind experiencing what Oliver wrote about in this poem. Sleeping and waking with the flowers. 💗 Would not be the worst way to sleep eternally either, 🌼😇🌼

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my goodness Michele, what an amazing poem you shared by Mary Oliver that is such a complement to the photos of your monochromatic flowers. 🌼🌼🌼🌼🌼 And girl, I didn’t know that you entered a couple of poems in the anthology. CONGRATULATIONS!!! 👏🏼🥰👏🏼 Bravo my dancing queen. 💃🏼 Girl, when do you rest? So proud of you my “writing your ass off” friend! LOL 😜 Enjoy the rest of this wonderful weekend and just continue to soar 🦅 as you already are! Keep the momentum going. 🤗💖😊🦋🌺😘💋🌞🥂 Hugs and smooches!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love this poem! Even more so after reading it aloud. 💗 Thank you, Kymbelina! 🧚🏽‍♀️ I am glad I was able to write and submit two for that anthology. Should be an interesting and empowering read! ✨ haha This week brought some writing rest. 😊 Resting up for a query letter. 😅 Write your heart out, dance your ass off. My new motto! 😁 ✍🏽💖✍🏻💖💃🏽💖💃🏻 Thank you for bringing the smiles and energy! Hugs and smooches!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m grinning from ear to ear Michele my Belle. 😁😁😁 Yes my badass friend, write, recite, and dance your ass off! 👯‍♀️🎶💃🏼 Now, it can’t get any better than that, at least for the day anyway! LMBO 🤣😆😅😝😂 Catch ya later gator!!! 🐊 Smooches 😘💋😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Gosh, I love Mary Oliver, and I adore this poem. It’s such a powerful poem, reminding us of who we really are, and the amazing connection we have to this beautiful planet. Your reading is elegant and so lovely, Michele. 💖 Wishing you a gorgeous weekend! 🌿🌻🌳

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Her poems are a good match to your poetic content. Different styles of course. Thank you, Jeff, for the thoughtful and articulate summary of her poem and for your feedback on my reading. It is a beautiful poem – reading it helped me to “experience” it. 💖 Gorgeous weekend – love that! Thank you. You too! 🌳🌞🌳

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, I tend to gravitate towards Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver. Different, yet the resonance of their words and view of the world is so high, and wonderful. You’re most welcome, Michele. 💖 It’s always my pleasure. Oh, I imagine reading it did help with the experience, and what an experience! Thank you! 🌳🌻🌳

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Huge congratulations on getting your work published – not just once, but TWICE! 😀 Beautiful poem you chose & your recital is the icing on the cake ❤ Hope the anthology gets plenty of publicity in the coming weeks! 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Tom! Oliver did leave a legacy of beautiful poems. I enjoy reading her work. ✨ Her connection to nature is inspiring.💖 It seems the anthology is getting great publicity. May that continue for all involved! Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 3 people

  5. I so loved this lyrical, gentle read of a transformative poem by Mary Oliver! I love seeing how different writers approach and depict the same emotions and thoughts we all inevitably come to in our own unique moment of realization. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jaya, I appreciate your understanding of poems and your ability to describe them so beautifully. A transformative poem – well said. I got a grasp of that after reading it a few times. Oliver had a way of simply yet skillfully writing about nature that draws us into the scene, the experience, the emotions. 🌼 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted by your feedback. Thank you, Aaysid. 😊 Reading poetry aloud brings me great joy and a greater understanding of the poem. Thank you for joining me in that experience! 🙏🏻Those Oregon flowers are so vibrant and gorgeous! 🌼🌼🌼

      Liked by 1 person

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