Monday, January 25, 2016

The Bare Tree

by Samuel Menashe    American, b. 1925

      My mother once said to me, "When one sees
the tree in leaf one thinks the beauty of the tree
is in its leaves, and then one sees the bare tree."

Dedicated to my family of trees.  M.E.


by David Wagoner,  American,  b. 1926

Stand still.  The trees ahead and the bushes
   beside you
Are not lost.  Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes.  Listen.  It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost.  Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are.  You must let it find you. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Peace of Wild Things

by Wendell Berry,   born 1934-

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 feeds.
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.

When He Heard the Owls at Midnight

From The Song of Hiawatha,  by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

     When he heard the owls at midnight
Hooting, laughing in the forest,
"What is that?" he said, "Nokomis?"
And the good Nokomis answered:
That is but the owl and owlet,
Talking in their native language,
Talking, scolding at each other." 

     Then the little Hiawatha

Learned of every bird its language,
Learned their names and all their secrets,
How they built their nests in Summer,
Where they hid themselves in Winter,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Call them "Hiawatha's Chickens."

      Of all beasts he learned the language,

Learned their names and all their secrets,
How the beavers built their lodges,
Where the squirrels hid their acorns,
How the reindeer ran so swiftly,
Why the rabbit was so timid,
Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Hiawatha's Brothers."