There’s Wendell Berry writing,
quill plucked from a wild turkey with thanks,
sitting in his Kentucky cabin
voting absentee for Amy McGrath.
“When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.”
Take a deep breath
Because among us normals,
ballpoint crushed into the back seat rug,
sitting on 95 smelling fumes,
we’re sipping sodas with plastic straws.
When despair grows in us
and we wake in the night to gunshot pops
in fear of what our lives and our children’s lives may be,
we go and lie down where the AC
hums with a restful buzz in the night air, while the great sirens blare
to disturb to pieces the silence
that might settle on the neighborhood
of grief. They come into the presence of street trees
feeling above the light pollution
for a twinkling star. For a time
we listen for them to leave our block, and we sleep.
Take a deep breath.
Yes take a deep breath.
Because over all the world
prophets fill up reams of webpages;
they ponder and sip imported wine,
pen warnings under pics of burned pines.
The despair grows in the world
when we see another shot of a seal
chewing on a plastic bottle on a littered beach
while powers dash to sign the first lease
on a wild Alaskan landscape, elk breath groaning into cold air,
snorting clouds up like morning prayers,
their bodies sensing the immanence
of grief. And we too buy a window with better seal,
hoping a child doesn’t breathe the air,
or hear the dire prayers. For a time
we watch them sleep, then order a tree. We’ll plant it.
Take a deep breath
a breath of the world’s breath,
and dream of God’s future in that tree.