Some ask for the world and are diminished in the receiving of it. You gave me only this small pool that the more I drink from, the more overflows me with sourceless light. ~R.S. Thomas “Gift”
A silence slipping around like death, Yet chased by a whisper, a sigh, a breath, One group of trees, lean, naked and cold, Inking their crest ‘gainst a sky green-gold, One path that knows where the corn flowers were; Lonely, apart, unyielding, one fir; And over it softly leaning down, One star that I loved ere the fields went brown.
~Angelina Weld Grimke “A Winter Twilight”
I am astonished at my thirstiness
slaked by such simple things
as a moment of pink,
a burst of birdsong,
the softness of fluff about to let go,
a glimpse of tomorrow over the horizon of today.
October is the fallen leaf, but it is also a wider horizon more clearly seen. It is the distant hills once more in sight, and the enduring constellations above them once again. ~ Hal Borland
I bid October good-bye reluctantly
to face forward into the November darkening .
Morning and evening chores with flashlight in hand,
I follow its bouncing beam down slick farm paths,
merging with surrounding shadow.
Summer is mere memory now;
all color drained from
leaves fallen, dissolving
in frost and rain.
When the light rises on the hills,
I feel a veil lift enough
that I am able to see
so far beyond my reach.
The horizon extends on and on forever
and I will endure another winter.
I return to the ground its original music. It will rise out of the horizon of the grass, and over the heads of weeds, and it will rise over the horizon of men’s heads. As I age in the world it will rise and spread, and be for this place horizon and orison, the voice of its winds. I have made myself a dream to dream of its rising, that has gentled my nights. Let me desire and wish well the life these trees may live when I no longer rise in the mornings to be pleased with the green of them shining, and their shadows on the ground, and the sound of the wind in them. ~Wendell Berry from “Planting Trees”
A tree is a prayer that begins
like a small seed
falling from our lips,
tentative with need.
–a word of thanks
a moment of praise
a tear from grief
a plea for grace–
Unsure if it will land
on receptive soil
with sufficient light
to quench its dryness.
An answered prayer, like a tree,
roots burrowed deep
filling to fullness
to grow higher in
that reaches the sky,
awaiting the wind’s touch.
Our prayer, like a tree,
planted on fertile soil,
will someday yield
its gifts and blessings
of fruit and shade,
to rise beyond the horizon
and reach past our last