Monday, June 14

Curated Poem for Sabbath from "This Day" by Wendell Berry

Times will come as they must,

by necessity or his wish, when he leaves

his enclosure and his window,

his homescape of house and garden,

barn and pasture, the incarnate life

of his desire, thought, and daily work.

His grazing animals look up

to watch in silence as he departs.

He sets out at times without even

a path or any guidance other than knowledge

of the place and himself as they were

in time already past. He goes among trees,

climbing again the one hill of his life.

With his hand full of words he goes

into the wordless, wording it barely

in time as he passes. One by one he places

words, balancing on each

as on a small stone in the swift flow

in his anxious patience until

the next arrives, until he has come

at last again into presentiment

of the Real, the wholly real in its grand

composure, for which as before

he knows no word. And here again

he must stop. Here by luck or grace he may

find rest, which he has been seeking

all along. Sometimes by the time’s flaws

and his own, he fails. And then

by luck or grace he will be given

another day to try again, to go maybe

yet farther before again he must stop.

He is a gatherer of fragments, a cobbler

of pieces. Piece by piece he tells

a story without end, for in the time

of this world no end can come.

It is the story of eternity’s shining,

much shadowed, much put off,

in time. And time, however long, falls short.


Berry, Wendell (2013-09-16). This Day: Collected & New Sabbath Poems (Kindle Locations 442-446). Counterpoint. Kindle Edition.

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by Terri Stewart

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