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Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

Good Timber

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The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life.

Douglas Malloch, HT: Michael Foster

Written by Scott Moonen

September 11, 2019 at 11:10 am

Cookstove

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Fire kept loosening into flames
the sunlight
trees had woven into wood.

Brooks Haxton, Coookstove, after Heraclitus, from They Lift Their Wings to Cry, 45

Written by Scott Moonen

August 14, 2019 at 8:00 am

Posted in Poetry

The Dawn Wind

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At two o’clock in the morning, if you open your window and listen,
You will hear the feet of the Wind that is going to call the sun.
And the trees in the shadow rustle and the trees in the moonlight glisten,
And though it is deep, dark night, you feel that the night is done.
. . .

Rudyard Kipling, The Dawn Wind

Written by Scott Moonen

July 11, 2019 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Poetry

The Wild Rose (Wendell Berry)

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Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,

suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose blooming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only a shade,

and once more I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.

Wendell Berry, Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, 153, originally from Entries

Written by Scott Moonen

March 27, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Posted in Poetry

The Law That Marries All Things (Wendell Berry)

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1.
The cloud is free only
to go with the wind.

The rain is free
only in falling.

The water is free only
in its gathering together,

in its downward courses,
in its rising into air.

2.
In law is rest
if you love the law,
if you enter, singing, into it
as water in its descent.

3.
Or song is truest law,
and you must enter singing;
it has no other entrance.

It is the great chorus
of parts. The only outlawry
is in division.

4.
Whatever is singing
is found, awaiting the return
of whatever is lost.

5.
Meet us in the air
over the water,
sing the swallows.

Meet me, meet me,
the redbird sings,
here here here here.

Wendell Berry, Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, 136–137, originally from The Wheel

Written by Scott Moonen

March 4, 2019 at 5:54 pm

Posted in Poetry

Gift

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By Brooks Haxton. Source: The Atlantic. Hat Tip: John Barach

All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;
and we all do fade as a leaf
—ISAIAH 64:6

After my mother’s father died,
she gave me his morocco Bible.
I took it from her hand, and saw
the gold was worn away, the binding
scuffed and ragged, split below the spine,
and inside, smudges where her father’s
right hand gripped the bottom corner
page by page, an old man waiting, not quite
reading the words he had known by heart
for sixty years: our parents in the garden,
naked, free from shame; the bitterness of labor;
blood in the ground, still calling for God’s
curse. His thumbprints faded after the flood,
to darken again where God bids Moses smite
the rock, and then again in Psalms, in Matthew
every page. And where Paul speaks of things
God hath prepared, things promised them who wait,
things not yet entered into the loving heart,
below the margin of the verse, the paper
is translucent with the oil and dark
still with the dirt of his right hand.

Brooks Haxton, They Lift Their Wings to Cry

Written by Scott Moonen

March 4, 2019 at 5:41 pm

Posted in Poetry

Count

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The leveling of the water, its increase,
the gathering of many into much:
. . .

—Wendell Berry, “The Winter Rain”

Written by Scott Moonen

November 17, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Poetry