Sunday, May 27, 2012

How to Get Found when You're Lost

Deep Valley, Guo XI

                             David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

from Collected Poems 1956-1976 © Indiana University Press.


  1. This Morning - David Budbill

    Oh, this life,
    the now;
    this morning,

    which I
    can turn
    into forever

    by simply
    what is here,

    is gone
    by noon.

  2. What a wonder poem, makes me tearful! And your first commenter is also also contributed a great poem. I hope I'm not showing my ignorance by wondering if David's poem is Haiku.

    1. Thank you, luvthat. Your comment led me to reread David Wagoner's poem, then to reread the David Budbill poem sent by faithful reader, Was Once. Both so beautiful. Is there some magic in the name David? As to your question, the contemporary English way of understanding haiku is as a poem that can be said in one breath; many of us no longer count syllables to imitate Japanese form. I suppose the Budbill poem is two breaths, but is very haiku in its feel, its simplicity, and its emphasis on the very moment.

  3. that's beautiful. Thanks for posting.

  4. Poetry is my passion - ever since I was a child - love it!!!

  5. I love the Poetry (magazine) app on my iPad. A great way to discover poets new to you.