March 18, 2009

a poem for spring break

This is how I feel today.

The Thought of Something Else
by Wendell Berry

A spring wind blowing
the smell of the ground
through the intersections of traffic,
the mind turns, seeks a new
nativity—another place,
simpler, less weighted
by what has already been.

Another place!
it’s enough to grieve me—
that old dream of going,
of becoming a better man
just by getting up and going
to a better place.

The mystery. The old
unaccountable unfolding.
The iron trees in the park
suddenly remember forests.
It becomes possible to think of going

—a place where thought
can take its shape
as quietly in the mind
as water in a pitcher,
or a man can be
safely without thought
—see the day begin
and lean back,
a simple wakefulness filling
the spaces among the leaves.

from Collected Poems of Wendell Berry
which I am enjoying immensely, slowly, one poem at a time.

(Available, incidentally, along with all of Berry's books, from the good folks at Cumberland Books who provide a wealth of good and noble and praiseworthy things for us to think upon, and who have inspiring integrity... for example, they enclosed a handwritten check for a couple of bucks in my last order because one of the books I ordered was on discount for folks who were participating in the group reading going on at the Dominion Family blog, and I guess they just figured that was why I was buying it... which it was, but I hadn't mentioned that because I don't mind paying a couple of dollars more when I buy from a Christian family business. Because of that, I didn't cash the check, but the gesture says a lot about how they treat their customers.)


Unknown said...

Rick's business integrity is unheard of, isn't it?

Owl of the Desert said...

Beautiful poem. Perfect for this week. Makes me wish I was outside.

rachel tsunami said...

"The old unaccountable unfolding."

That's my favorite line.