23 Mar 2011, 9:39pm
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birds are singing in the trees

poetry by wendell berry, from a timbered choir: the sabbath poems 1979-1997

I

The winter world of loss
And grief is gone. The night
Is past. Along the whole
Length of the river, birds
Are singing in the trees.

Again, hope dreams itself
Awake. The year’s first lambs
Cry in the morning dark.
And, after all, we have
A garden in our minds.

We living know the worth
Of all the dead have done
Or hoped to do. We know
That hearts, against their doom,
Must plight an ancient troth.

Now come the bride and groom,
Now come the man and woman
Who must begin again
The work divine and human
By which we live on earth.

II

Lift up the dead leaves
and see, waiting
in the dark, in cold March,

the purplish stems, leaves,
and buds of twinleaf,
infinitely tender, infinitely

expectant. They straighten
slowly into the light after
the nights of frost. At last

the venture is made: the brief
blossoms open, the petals fall,
the hinged capsules of seed

grow big. The possibility
of this return returns
again to the seed, the dark,

the long wait, and the light again.

*

yesterday i found and lost, twice, a perfect empty snail shell. the second time i lost it, i was distracted by this little guy:

*

(i also saw a hummingbird today.)

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