Among Trees – Quiet and Still

Wendell Berry

An untitled poem from from a collection of Wendell Berry’s poems called A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
Where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what is afraid of me comes
and lives awhile in my sight.
What it fears in me leaves me,
and the fear of me leaves it.
It sings, and I hear its song.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings and I hear its song.

After days of labor,
mute in my consternations,
I hear my song at last,
and I sing it. As we sing,
the day turns, the trees move.


About Steven Goodheart

"I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to bewail, not to scorn human actions, but to understand them." Spinoza

3 Responses to “Among Trees – Quiet and Still”

  1. My dharma leader asked me to write a poem including skillful means for the sangha newsletter. Wendell Berry’s poem offers good inspiration!

  2. I like this. I like how things disappear the longer one sits. Alone.

    michael j

    • Hey Michael! Thanks!

      I found this poet’s mode of meditation to be the way I often work.

      I was especially moved and helped by his line:

      What it fears in me leaves me,
      and the fear of me leaves it.
      It sings, and I hear its song.

      There’s a LOT of wisdom and insight in that, and I can attest that it happens, if we sit with great love and quietness.

      Thanks as always for stopping by,


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