Thursday, September 24, 2009


Painting by Sherry Shipley


Sometimes in the open you look up
where birds go by, or just nothing,
and wait. A dim feeling comes
you were like this once,
there was air,
and quiet; it was by a lake, or
maybe a river you were alert
as an otter and were suddenly born
like the evening star into wide
still worlds like this one
you have found again,
for a moment, in the open.

Something is being told in the woods:
aisles of shadow lead away;
a branch waves;
a pencil of sunlight slowly
travels its path.
A withheld presence almost
speaks, but then retreats, rustles
a patch of brush. You can feel
the centuries ripple generations
of wandering, discovering, being lost
and found, eating, dying, being born.
A walk through the forest
strokes your fur,
the fur you no longer have.
And your gaze down a forest aisle
is a strange, long plunge,
dark eyes looking for home.
For delicious minutes you can feel
your whiskers
wider than your mind,
away out over everything.

William Stafford

Posted over on Poemhunter

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