Thursday, June 02, 2011

Thursday Poem - Directions

The best time is late afternoon
when the sun strobes through
the columns of trees as you are hiking up,
and when you find an agreeable rock
to sit on, you will be able to see
the light pouring down into the woods
and breaking into the shapes and tones
of things and you will hear nothing
but a sprig of birdsong or the leafy
falling of a cone or nut through the trees,
and if this is your day you might even
spot a hare or feel the wing-beats of geese
driving overhead toward some destination.

But it is hard to speak of these things
how the voices of light enter the body
and begin to recite their stories
how the earth holds us painfully against
its breast made of humus and brambles
how we who will soon be gone regard
the entities that continue to return
greener than ever, spring water flowing
through a meadow and the shadows of clouds
passing over the hills and the ground
where we stand in the tremble of thought
taking the vast outside into ourselves.

Billy Collins
(from Directions in The Art of Drowning)


Cindy said...

This is so beautiful, my eyes welled up. Slept with the windows open last night, drifted off to the night sounds, awoke to freshness and light. I could smell the earth, I could hear Her stretching. And the day begins....

Guy said...

Hi Cate

I love Billy Collins and while this seems a bit more sombre than his more light hearted poems it really captures the mood you feel sometimes sitting quietly while the earth goes about her business around you.


Nan said...

This is just perfect. Thank you so much for posting it. 'we who will soon be gone' -poignant but reassuring to think of life going on. It reminds me of George Harrison's words: life flows on within you and without you. Maybe he didn't mean it this way, but that's how I've always taken it.

the wild magnolia said...

There definitely is a "thing" that happens when I am alone in the woods. There are waves of nature that pass through me leaving a peace I can feel.

We are the temporary, the earth of green and gold, will remain.

Your photo was so lovely I cried.

Thank you for sharing.

Mystic Meandering said...

Beautiful photo. Reminds me of when I used to go to the woods right next to our house as a child of 11 to write poetry. I miss it, as there are no woods here.

"How the voices of light enter the body." Yes - even through the darkness...thankfully.... Christine

Kameshwari said...

Excellent choice of poems. We head out on a camping and hiking trip in the middle of the month. I'll copy this poem to a piece of paper and read it while we rest on a rock, late in the day.