I attended a poetry reading last night at my local library. Six poets read. The night was riveting.
I was reminded of one man's poem when I read the one below of William Stafford's. The poet had followed a visual artist around, a man who studies light, who can tell if something is off in Pixar animation. He knows how shadows fall, how light enters, stirs, moves. The poem was about watching rocks change as the sun moves across them, so we may see one thing at six and another at seven. He described a rock at Sequoia doing yoga asanas. In listening I saw how much more attention I need to pay as light moves through me and this marvelous display.
You Reading This, Be Ready
Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?
Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?
When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life -
What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?
~ William Stafford ~
(The Way It Is)