October 12th, 2007


Poetry Friday -- William Stafford

This morning, pulling the tent and tin cups out of our shed, I was thinking about William Stafford
He's the kind of guy you think about when you're going camping. 

Stafford wrote many, many books -- about family and friends and peace and politics, but the stuff that really gets me between the ribs and shoulder blades is his poetry of place, his intimate reflections on landscape and wilderness and the natural universe. 

His Methow River Poems were actually published on Forest Service signs in the 1990s; they are that organic. 
His way of noticing and revering trees, birds, water and rock is somehow both simple and sacred.

I'm really happy about Al Gore and all the attention on climate change, but I sort of think lines like these can serve the same purpose -- reminding us that we are one with the world and that there's eversomuch to love:

Trees are afraid of storms. (Real People)

Whenever a rock finds what it likes
it hardly ever changes. (From the Wild People)

To be a mountain you have to climb alone
and accept all that rain and snow. (Silver Star)

Water likes to sing. (Pretty Good Day)

You hear the river saying a prayer for all that's gone. (Where We Are)

How you stand here is important. (Being a Person)

I think we should keep
some of this, in case God comes back
to see what we did with it. (The Whole Thing)

This weekend we're camping with 14 adults, 15 children and 2 dogs. 
We won't be in motorhomes, but it's not exactly a total wilderness adventure, either. 
Still, I'm thinking about waking up outside tomorrow morning, bubbling a pot of cowboy coffee right in the middle of last night's coals, the kids' faces dirty and rosy and well. 

I'm thinking I should read some of these aloud then. 

Maybe this one

Or this...

When I Met My Muse

I glanced at her and took my glasses
off—they were still singing. They buzzed
like a locust on the coffee table and then

(Read the rest of the poem here.)