The poem I needed right now, from Mary Walker

My friend, the writer Mary Walker, recently invited her Instagram followers to request a poem for a particular mood or need. She said she would see which of her poems came forward as answering the request. Mary is a sensitive listener -of both people and the land- so I immediately took her up on the call.

Mary’s invitation…

I have a new book coming out next month. It’s a funny thing…publication is both a writer’s dream…and yet is not without it’s challenging elements. It can feel so strange and exposing. Each time I’ve done it I feel a very odd mix of elation and also queasiness and vulnerability. As writers we hope our offerings will be met with kindness, generosity…but once the book has gone from the writer’s mind to becoming a tangible artefact – all control is lost and the work must be let go to have a life of its own, for good or ill.

So I asked Mary for a poem for ‘vulnerability and visibility’.

Here is what stepped forward for me…

Mary’s ‘Wild Fruit’

A more perfect poem I could not imagine. I was moved to tears when I read it.

Mary can’t know this (and yet somehow she did) but my book opens with a scene about me picking blackberries as a child…and about blackberries as a powerful edgeland plant with much to teach us about boundaries, courage and tenacity. Mary gave me just the poem I needed…at the moment I needed it. I cannot thank her enough.

Mary’s new book is available for order now. Her poems reveal her deep enmeshment with the land and a fearless engagement with all of the challenges of being a deeply-conscious human in this world. Thank you, Mary, for this timely gift. Thank you for gifting blackberry back to me…an uncanny coincidence, a portent, and a sign…that there is magic in this world if we invite it and then listen carefully for the evidence.

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