Sunday, August 1, 2010

Inside its bends

Inside its bends, the river 
builds the land, outside
it frets the land away.
This is unjust only from
a limited view.  Forever
it doesn't matter, is only
the world's way, the give
and take, the take and 
give we suffer in order 
to live.  This household
of my work, ungainly on
its stilts, stands outside
the bend, and the river wears
near and near, flow
outlasting the standing firm.
Trees once here are gone,
the slope they stood upon
gone.  I needed what is lost,
although I love as well
the flow that took it.  Now
spring is coming, the redbird's
peal rings from the thicket,
the pair exchanges like
a kiss a seed from the feeder,
and this is timeless.  But a day
in time will come when this
house will give way, the walls
lean and fall.  Shattered will be
my window's rectitude.
~ Wendell Berry
from Leavings
photo by Ansel Adams