Gratitude poem, questions and answers

A quote about gratitude by Melody Beatle, to go with my post about questions and answers using Mary Oliver's poem.
Image also shared in a previous post about Gratitude

I am joining in with others – Mrs Jones and Marriage Sex and More – to answer Brigit Delaney’s 30 Dirty Questions. As Brigit said:

These questions will all be about sex in some way and will be the sorts of questions that get a the core of a person’s desires, fears, and experiences. The sorts of questions that could really help you get to know another person.

~ Brigit Delaney

I think these questions serves not only to let you get to know the other person, but also to get you to think about your own preferences, desires, and dislikes.


Question 8: Consider a moment in your life of great sensuality, eroticism, or sexuality. Then answer the questions that Mary Oliver does in her poem “Gratitude” as they apply to that moment.

Gratitude by Mary Oliver

What did you notice?

The dew-snail;
the low-flying sparrow;
the bat, on the wind, in the dark;
big-chested geese, in the V of sleekest performance;
the soft toad, patient in the hot sand;
the sweet-hungry ants;
the uproar of mice in the empty house;
the tin music of the cricket’s body;
the blouse of the goldenrod.

What did you hear?

The thrush greeting the morning;
the little bluebirds in their hot box;
the salty talk of the wren,
then the deep cup of the hour of silence.

When did you admire?

The oaks, letting down their dark and hairy fruit;
the carrot, rising in its elongated waist;
the onion, sheet after sheet, curved inward to the pale green wand;
at the end of summer the brassy dust, the almost liquid beauty of the flowers;
then the ferns, scrawned black by the frost.

What astonished you?

The swallows making their dip and turn over the water.

What would you like to see again?

My dog: her energy and exuberance, her willingness,
her language beyond all nimbleness of tongue,
her recklessness, her loyalty, her sweetness,
her strong legs, her curled black lip, her snap.

What was most tender?

Queen Anne’s lace, with its parsnip root;
the everlasting in its bonnets of wool;
the kinks and turns of the tupelo’s body;
the tall, blank banks of sand;
the clam, clamped down.

What was most wonderful?

The sea, and its wide shoulders;
the sea and its triangles;
the sea lying back on its long athlete’s spine.

What did you think was happening?

The green beast of the hummingbird;
the eye of the pond;
the wet face of the lily;
the bright, puckered knee of the broken oak;
the red tulip of the fox’s mouth;
the up-swing, the down-pour, the frayed sleeve of the first snow—

so the gods shake us from our sleep.

The questions

The questions in the poem are:

  • What did you notice?
  • What did you hear?
  • What did you admire?
  • What astonished you?
  • What would you like to see again?
  • What was most tender?
  • What was most wonderful?
  • What did you think was happening?

The moment

Brigit said to think of a moment in my life of great sensuality, eroticism, or sexuality. As always, when I get these kind of questions, I draw a blank, and this one was no different. I’ve had so many moments in my life, but thinking of a specific one to use for this post is hard. Therefore, I decided not to concentrate on just one moment, but on the months our sex life picked up speed again, after Master T’s leg healed and the pain was gone, and until it came to a screeching halt when he had the stroke, and the consequent cancer diagnosis.

The answers

* What do you notice?
Despite all those months (years) where our sex life was almost non-existing, our connection was still as strong as ever. We just picked up where we left off, which to me is evident of the strength of our relationship.

* What did you hear?
His love for me. My love for him. Our love. Our bond.

* What did you admire?
That even after having so little sex, for so long, he still knew my body so well. Every single spot, every button he had to push to get me to where he wanted me – he still knew where and how to touch me.

* What astonished you?
Our strength.
And it still does, as with what is playing in our lives now, we have to be even stronger.

* What would you like to see again?
That after this period, once the operation and consequent treatment is behind us, and Master T is healing, we can bounce back the same way we did before.

* What was most tender?
Definitely our feelings for each other. A simple touch of a hand, a simple smile, sometimes only a glance… all of this made us feel our love for each other.

* What was most wonderful?
All of the above.

* What did you think was happening?
We were just living life. They say you never get more on your plate than you can handle. There were days I wondered (and now I have those days again) if I will survive the difficult period, if I would get through it. If we will get through it. But we did. We took it one day at a time, leaned on each other, trusted and loved each other, and we made it through. And I know we will make it through again.

© Rebel’s Notes


4 thoughts on “Gratitude poem, questions and answers

  1. This is beautiful, Marie…thank you for sharing this with us <3 I would be hard pressed to think of just one moment as well, and especially so many specific details about that moment. For me, that is something I have to do in the moment while focused on being present.

    1. Same here, Nora, being in the moment, in the present, which is why this was a terribly difficult post to write… I was even thinking about skipping the question.

  2. I always have a difficult time with things like this. I wonder if this might be one of those things that ARE different between men and women? I can recall some great erotic adventures and really intense times, but I don’t think back on them with these types of thoughts. Instead my recollections focus on the exceptional moments, and being kinky, these moments are often intense, graphic, and downright gritty. And this is not because I am an insensitive clod (or at least I don’t think it’s because of that) because as an artist, writer, and sensualist in nearly every aspect of my being, I think I focus more on nuance than most other guys. But I also have a very clinical approach to things as well. And these two disparate natures are always in me and always at battle with each other…or sometimes in harmony too. So sometimes these questions as posed this way, and even with poetry I don’t particularly gravitate towards, (I like poetry, but only dark, quirky stuff) result in an eyeroll and urge to respond with something sarcastic. (“what did you hear?” “My back creaking as I undulated away.” LOL)

    I do like the power of your recollections on you own memories though. There’s a an intensity and honesty and appreciation in it all that comes across very dramatically.

    (Oh and BTW, the first part (of 5) of that story illustrated with selfie photography enhanced with Halloween props is up. It starts off relatively tame and the action heats up with each new installment…..which I’ll be posting each Friday in October.)

    All the best!

    1. I don’t think I would’ve write this in this form had it not been for the prompt I followed. I have difficulty answering questions like this, and prefer to write in a different way.

      I still have your blog on my screen to read, and saw some of the images. I promise, soon I will hop over to see and comment!

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