Sunday, July 03, 2011

Where The Wood Drake Rests


is fire-
works and swelter.
Neighbor on his tractor,
mowing annual grasses
so the hill won't burn—
mechanical hum growing
as I sit in uncut
grass and watch my sheep
in meditation
chew their cud under a blue
oak, its leaves layers
of shadowed light on grass,
of music it remembers
from a breeze.
Forgetting days, the old
ewe's eyes
are so far distant, air
growing heavy
with July and thought
which isn't thought
but being.

—Taylor Graham, Placerville


—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 feed.
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 with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


—Carl Sandburg

Let a joy keep you.
Reach out your hands
And take it when it runs by,
As the Apache dancer
Clutches his woman.
I have seen them
Live long and laugh loud,
Sent on singing, singing,
Smashed to the heart
Under the ribs
With a terrible love.
Joy always,
Joy everywhere—
Let joy kill you!
Keep away from the little deaths.