Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday Poem - Atavism

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,
Atavism from The Way It is: New and Selected Poems


Sky said...

"something is being told in the woods:" and so it is that we run to nature for peace, tranquility, contentment, connection. therein lies our own beginnings.

this was such a meaningful poem for me, one i had never read. the photography, needless to say, is simply magnificent.

hele said...

"A walk through the forest strokes your fur, the fur you no longer have."

Oh, that is so beautiful.