by 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 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.
The Rob Schouten Gallery on Whidbey Island has a gift for pairing art and poetry. I was delighted to have my piece, "View from the Forest Floor" chosen to be paired with this impressive poem by David Wagoner in the gallery's latest postcard. Perfect.
Steph Mader is a full-time glass artist living on Whidbey Island in Washington State.