Sunday, November 26, 2006

Writerly Reminders

Dust

The dust motes float
and swerve in the sunbeam,
as lively as worlds,
and I remember my brother
when we were boys:
"We may be living on an atom
in somebody's wallpaper."


How To Be A Poet
(to remind myself)

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill - more of each
than you have - inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensional life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away form anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.

Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.

Wendell Berry, Given

1 comment:

Lisa Stewart said...

Thank you for sharing your poem. I like tiny compressed poems like this. Robert Bly once published an anthology called The Sea and the Honeycomb, which is a collection of very short poems. This belongs in that collection.