Archive for April 20th, 2009

That Day


It’s gotten to the point that I quiver a little when I know I’m opening a package from Amazon.com that contains a new book of poems.  Have I told you all lately how much I love poetry?  I adore it.  It is one of life’s essentials.  That along with water, chocolate, music and oh yes, laughter.   What I think I love the most is when someone puts into words what my heart has felt or even better when they put a slant on something that never would have occurred to me, skew my vision and turn it upside down; that is true artistry.

This poem I’ve selected is by William Stafford.  He is often referred to as a poet of the Pacific Northwest, as he lived off and on in Oregon which also became his final resting place.  He did not begin publishing poetry until his late 40s and eventually published over 50 volumes of his poetry.  So take heart any of you who thought you couldn’t write poetry or did when younger and would like to revisit it.  It’s never too late to start any thing, no matter what it is.  Something new and fresh is always calling us forward.  Any day is a good day to answer the call – which is the perfect segue to this poem…

That Day

Have the phone ready;
then right where time touches the edge
have the phone ring and it be —
well, it could be only Yusif or Arabella
telling when they’ll arrive.

But maybe that ringing goes on
even when you lift the phone.
Maybe the sound wanders away
outdoors and along the street
into the country.

And it won’t stop. It takes you far
toward the trees where they wait
for new light, for quiet. They won’t answer.
Then mushrooms will speak:
the soft answer you need.

Then you can come back, breathing.

~Even In Quiet Places~
Poems by William Stafford

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