The Quiet Speech of Leaves




A form of mindful meditation is to use imagery. When you read this poem let the image of water and light, like the scene in this post, evoke a sense of calm quiet. Perhaps you have your own special spot where you have been in nature that stirs a sense of calm within you. Imagine yourself there. What do you see, smell and hear?


"Sabbaths 1998, VII"

by Wendell Berry for John Haines


There is a place you can go

where you are quiet,

a place of water and the light


on the water. Trees are there,

leaves, and the light

on leaves moved by air.


Birds, singing, move

among leaves, in leaf shadow.

After many years you have come


to no thought of these,

but they are themselves

your thoughts. There seems to be


little to say, less and less.

Here they are. Here you are.

Here as though gone.


None of us stays, but in the hush

where each leaf in the speech

of leaves is a sufficient syllable


the passing light finds out

surpassing freedom of its way.


From Given (Showemaker & Hoard, 2005)

© 2005 by Wendell Berry.


*Photo by 50m. above on Unsplash