Let Evening Come

Let Evening Come

by Jane Kenyon

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don’t
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.

Published in: on October 8, 2009 at 6:31 pm  Comments (1)  
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To Dorothy

To Dorothy

by Marvin Bell

You are not beautiful, exactly.
You are beautiful, inexactly.
You let a weed grow by the mulberry
And a mulberry grow by the house.
So close, in the personal quiet
Of a windy night, it brushes the wall
And sweeps away the day till we sleep.

A child said it, and it seemed true:
“Things that are lost are all equal.”
But it isn’t true. If I lost you,
The air wouldn’t move, nor the tree grow.
Someone would pull the weed, my flower.
The quiet wouldn’t be yours. If I lost you,
I’d have to ask the grass to let me sleep.

Published in: on September 17, 2009 at 4:41 am  Comments (1)  
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Evolution

Evolution

by Greg Boyd

Somehow a crackpot biologist figures out how to grow a money

tree. When the first bud breaks, Grant’s face unfolds. Then the tree

doubles in size daily, until it’s taller than a redwood, its branches

broader than an oak’s. And still it grows, cracking sidewalks and

toppling buildings as its trunk widens, draining lakes and diverting

rivers as its root system stretches, eclipsing the sun as its billions

of branches, each bristling with hundred-dollar leaves, bud and

sprout. Giant seed coins explode like popcorn, fall to the earth, and

blossom overnight. Among men, those best suited for survival grow

wings with which to fly to trees. They dot the leaves like aphids, their

tiny mouths tearing at the green.

Published in: on May 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Two from “Why I Wake Early”

Clouds

By Mary Oliver

All afternoon, Sir,
your ambassadors have been turning
into lakes and rivers.
At first they were just clouds, like any other.
Then they swelled and swirled; then they hung very still;
then they broke open. This is, I suppose,
just one of the common miracles,
a transformation, not a vision,
not an answer, not a proof, but I put it
there, close against my heart, where the need is, and it serves

the purpose. I go on, soaked through, my hair
slicked back;
like corn, or wheat, shining and useful.

The Old Poets of China

by Mary Oliver

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.

(both poems from Why I Wake Early: New Poems, by Mary Oliver. Highly recommended by me!)

Published in: on April 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Finch

Finch

by Jeanne Murray Walker

February 14th on the East Coast and flakes
like moths in our hemlocks, the Superfresh
abuzz when I dash in for milk and eggs.
Strangers laughing, swapping recipes in the fish
aisle. How dear we are to one another,
how shy. Small squirrels of terror leap branch
to branch. At earth’s center, the massive cedar
shudders, holds. We spot a house finch
perching in our real cedar. She barely
holds her own against oncoming sleet
and dark. Our pitch is tuned so squarely
to the middle C called hope, we sit and watch
till midnight while she bravely recreates
herself from snow and fear and love of being watched.

(from Shenandoah, Fall 2008).

Published in: on March 27, 2009 at 1:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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River Rising

River Rising

by Lisa Zimmerman

Winter shrank into itself
so dry the peach tree came down
with one hatchet blow
and the mock orange beside
the bedroom window barely whispered

a fragrance.
Only today the iris fill
like purple cups with rain
and the river rises into pastures.
New foals lean, unsteady
against their mothers, quiet
beneath fronds of water,
their bodies heavy
with something–
how the world, to them,
gives and takes, gives
and takes, how easy it is
to bear it.

(from The Light at the Edge of Everything)

Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Peace of Wild Things

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

(from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry)

Published in: on March 12, 2009 at 5:49 pm  Comments (1)  
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