Evening Poetry, June 13

1998

VII

by Wendell Berry

For John Haines

There is a place you can go

where you are quiet,

a place of water and the light

on the water. Trees are there,

leaves, and the light

on leaves moved by air.

Birds, singing, move

among leaves, in leaf shadow.

After many years you have come

to no thought of these,

but they are themselves

your thoughts. There seems to be

little to say, less and less.

Here they are. Here you are.

Here as though gone.

None of us stays, but in the hush

where each leaf in the speech

of leaves is a sufficient syllable

the passing light finds out

surpassing freedom of its way.

You can find this poem in This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems.

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