Poetry Friday

THE WINTER OF LISTENING

No one but me by the fire,

my hands burning

red in the palms while

the night wind carries

everything away outside.

All this petty worry

while the great cloak

of the sky grows dark

and intense

round every living thing.

All this trying

to know

who we are

and all this

wanting to know

exactly

what we must do.

What is precious

inside us does not

care to be known

by the mind

in ways that diminish

its presence.

What we strive for

in perfection

is not what turns us

to the lit angel

we desire.

What disturbs

and then nourishes

has everything

we need.

What we hate

in ourselves

is what we cannot know

in ourselves but

what is true

to the pattern

does not need

to be explained.

Inside everyone

is a great shout of joy

waiting to be born…

And

here

in the tumult

of the night

I hear the walnut

above the child’s swing

swaying

its dark limbs

in the wind

and the snow now

come to

beat against my window

and somewhere

in this cold night

of wind and stars

the first whispered

opening of

those hidden

and invisible springs

that uncoil

in the still summer air

each yet

to be imagined

rose.

From ‘The Winter of Listening’

David Whyte: Essentials

Many Rivers Press 2019