The Place I Want To Get Back To by Mary Oliver

is where
in the pinewoods
in the moments between
the darkness

and first light
two deer
came walking down the hill
and when they saw me

they said to each other, okay,
this one is okay,
let’s see who she is
and why she is sitting

on the ground like that,
so quiet, as if
asleep, or in a dream,
but, anyway, harmless;

and so they came
on their slender legs
and gazed upon me
not unlike the way

I go out to the dunes and look
and look and look
into the faces of the flowers;
and then one of them leaned forward

and nuzzled my hand, and what can my life
bring to me that could exceed
that brief moment?
For twenty years

I have gone every day to the same woods,
not waiting, exactly, just lingering.
Such gifts, bestowed,
can’t be repeated.

If you want to talk about this
come to visit. I live in the house
near the corner, which I have named

Mary Oliver

House by the Sea by Russell Boyle

About Russell Boyle

Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 to 10 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from
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9 Responses to The Place I Want To Get Back To by Mary Oliver

  1. ĽAdelaide says:

    thanks to a beautiful new blog who discovered me this morning, i discovered her and that led me here. your poem brought tears to my eyes. thank you, my friend, for having the heart to see. i look forward to reading more of your words in days to come.

  2. What a truly beautiful pice thanks to you Cindy for sharing Russell’s words 🙂 Congrats as well on your first re-blog!

  3. cindy knoke says:

    Hey Russel. You are the first! I reblogged you. You are awesome my friend and so is Mary’s poem~

  4. cindy knoke says:

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    We have many amazingly talented and creative fellow bloggers. I have never reblogged out of concern that each blog I follow is meritorious and I don’t like picking favorites. Please know if I follow your blog, I am an admirer. Sometimes though, our fellow bloggers, engage in such acts of kindness and prescience, that they have caused me to change my thinking, and engage, for the first time, in the art of the “reblog!” Today I will highlight three bloggers whose acts of creative kindness have blown me away.
    Since I have never reblogged, I hope I don’t make too many mistakes.
    First there is Russel Boyle. Russel is a poet who lives in Melbourne. When you go to his website, please be sure to look and listen to the poetry he has written on the right hand drop down menu, buried amongst all the other brilliant poets.
    What particularly blew me away about Russel, was that he saw my most recent post about the friendly deer, recalled this poem and sent it to me. Not only was the poem an uncanny replication of my feelings encountering the deer, it was also amazing that Russel had this poem at the tip of his fingertips, like he does for hundreds of poets. He introduces me to new poets daily. Check out Russel, Mary Oliver, her poetry, and his.

  5. Tom Gething says:

    I love this poem. Thanks for posting it. She’s a great poet.

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