Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze 
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.

 From Wendell Berry,  The Collected Poems of Wendell Berry


1. Quiet yourself and become aware of God’s presence.

2. Read the poem in an audible voice.  

3. Ponder which phrase or word or image touches you.

4. Read the poem again, this time silently.

5. Relish the phrases, the words, the feel, the texture.  

6. On a blank piece of paper, engage the following questions:

  • Which was the first image that arose in you as you read the poem?

  • What were the immediate feelings that the poem triggered in you?

  • If you were to paint a picture about this poem what would you include?

  • If  you were to add a line of your own somewhere in this poem what would it be and where would you place?

8. Rest in silence  for a while and listen to the inner movement within you.

7. Read the poem out loud again, but this time as a prayer to God.

 photo credit | Kittiwut Chuamrassamee


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