August 10, 2005


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 Here.
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.

David Wagoner, Who Shall Be The Sun?
Indiana University Press 1978


Loren said...

It's poems like this one that make me think that Wagoner is probably one of our best contemporary nature poets, though he doesn't get the recognition that Bly or Snyder does.

Meredith said...

Right Loren, and like Mary Oliver's poetry, spiritual truths are neatly tucked in the silent spaces between the stunning phrases.

david said...

Neat little poem. I've never heard of this poet before.

Thanks for introducing us.

gratefulbear said...

Thanks for posting this beautiful poem. It contains a lot of truth. Hazrat Inayat Khan, the founder of the Sufi Order in the west, said this about the trees:

"To the eye of the seer every leaf of the tree is a page of the holy book that contains divine revelation, and he is inspired every moment of his life by constantly reading and understanding the holy script of nature."

Twyla said...

I read this poem for the first time just the other day, then forgot where I found it. How providential to find it here! Thank you! :) I so often need to heed its call.