"The Earth Says ... every summer have ...
In Response to a Question:
”What Does the Earth Say?”
The earth says have a place, be what that place
requires; hear the sound the birds imply
and see as deep as ridges go behind
each other. (Some people call their scenery flat,
their only pictures framed by what they know:
I think around them rise a riches and a loss
too equal for their chart - but absolutely tall.)
The earth says every summer have a ranch
that’s minimum: one tree, one well, a landscape
that proclaims a universe - sermon
of the hills, hallelujah mountain,
highway guided by the way the world is tilted,
reduplication of mirage, flat evening:
a kind of ritual for the wavering.
The earth says where you live wear the kind
of color that your life is (grey shirt for me)
and by listening with the same bowed head that sings
draw all things into one song, join
the sparrow on the lawn, and row that easy
way, the rage without met by the wings
within that guide you anywhere the wind blows.
Listening, I think that’s what the earth says.
+ William Stafford
This poem has been an anthem in my heart for most of my life.
It was summer when I first read it.
I was twenty-something, maybe 21, so that would be 1973.
It was in a book.
I no longer have that book.
The words at some point became etched in my heart
and I carry them within.
This is the place where I come back to every summer.
This is the summer that lives in my heart every winter.
This is where I live.
Linking up today with my blogging friends for
May you have a Happy Thursday!
Update: Packing my gray shirt ...
... onto the highway ...
See you in September ... :)