Tuesday, February 22, 2011

winter afternoon by the lake


Black trunks, black branches, and white snow.
No one nearby, five o'clock, below zero,
Late January. No birds. No wind.
You look, and your life seems stopped.  Perhaps
You died suddenly earlier today.  But the thin
Moon says no.  The trees say, "It's been this way
Before, often.  It's cold, but it's quiet."  We've experienced
This before, among the messy Saxons putting back
The hide flap.  A voice says: "It's old.  You'll never
See this again, the way it is now, because
Just today you sensed that someone gave you
Life and said, 'Stay as long as you like.'"
The snow and the black trees, pause, to see if we're
Ready to re-enter that stillness.  "Not yet."

~ Robert Bly
For Owen
from Morning Poems