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The Entangled Bank              David LaMotte

The Peace of Wild Things


When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.



                                     Wendell Berry


Great poems have a voice that is easy to inhabit.  Say this poem to yourself, and its voice becomes yours.  I say this poem often when despair grows in me or I wake in fear.  I say it as I go out into the peace of wild things, to remind me why I am there and what I will find.  I said it once on a sleepless night as I sat by a lake watching the stars fade so gradually that even after they had gone day-blind in the dawn sky, I could feel them waiting with their light.