Shifting Focus

74707-poetry-friday-logo“I didn’t sleep well,”  he said. “The rain kept me awake. It made the same sound you make each morning when you pick your glasses up off the nightstand.”

“That makes a noise?” I asked.

“Not a loud one–just distinct. A certain sound each morning.”

Now each morning when I pick up my glasses, I hear the frames lightly skitter on the wooden surface. I wonder what else I’ve missed.

Shifting Focus

How did I never notice
the changing hues
of the goldfinch
from winter to spring?
Was I blind to its drab presence
midst winter snows?
Did my eyes only open
with spring’s sweet call?
Now day by day the transition
from dull olive to lemon gold
startles me.

“Wake up!” I tell myself
“The world is full of marvels.
Pay attention!”

If I stop, sit and listen
will I hear the whisper
of the butterfly’s wings
or spy the slow unfurling
of the spiraled fern?

What other wonders
have I missed?

©2018 M. Hogan

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Catherine Flynn at her blog, Reading to the Core. She’s celebrating International Women’s Day with a beautiful original poem to honor Ellen Haring Baker.

11 thoughts on “Shifting Focus

  1. I love the comparison of the glasses on your nightstand to the raindrops outside…and the wondering of what else is missed.


  2. Linda Mitchell says:

    Molly, this is stunning…I love the two stories in this poem and how it leads to a reflection. And, you end with a question–one of my favorite ways to end a poem. You brought me right into it. So many days are dull olive….when they could be lemon yellow! Oh, I just love this poem


  3. maryleehahn says:

    Yes! What do we miss when we wander the world without paying close attention?


  4. Amanda Potts says:

    Such beauty here. In the midst of the description and the questions, these lines really caught me “Wake up!” I tell myself/ “The world is full of marvels./Pay attention!” And I am fascinated that your husband heard the sound of picking up your glasses. Partners notice the most amazing things.


  5. lindabaie says:

    Your tiny ‘wake-up call’ about the glasses made a poem itself, and then more for us to remember, too. I am reminded of Mary Oliver: “Instructions for living a life:
    Pay attention.
    Be astonished.
    Tell about it.” And you have!


  6. margaretsmn says:

    Wake up and pay attention. That is our one true work, according to Mary Oliver. (Speaking of, I just noticed Linda’s comment above.) As poets I think we are more awake, don’t you?


  7. ureadiread says:

    Most of the world walks around asleep, when we wake it can be to a state of constant amazement.


  8. It’s fun and exciting when we notice things or “wake up” to things that have been right before our eyes but we hadn’t noticed them. I love watching the cotton tale changing from it’s summer coat to a burly winter coat. Thanks for your sensitive poem Molly, and here’s to more “waking up!”


  9. Inspiration to slow down, put fewer things on the “to do” list. Don’t have “meditate” be easily dismissed. Live your priorities. Oh, the Dalai Lama would be so proud!


  10. What wonders do we miss, rushing through our busy days? I try to be attentive, but it isn’t always easy. I love your poem and your focus on goldfinches in the first stanza. I don’t think I ever realized they were here through the winter until this year. They look like a completely different bird! Thank you for the reminder to pay attention!


  11. laurashovan222 says:

    “The slow unfurling of the spiraled fern” — such a beautiful line. By including it here, you’ve captured it for all of us.


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