Your exact errors make a music
that nobody hears.
Your straying feet find the great dance,
And you live on a world where stumbling
always leads home. Year after year fits over your face—
when there was youth, your talent
later, you find your way by touch
where moss redeems the stone; and you discover where music begins
before it makes any sound,
far in the mountains where canyons go
still as the always-falling, ever-new flakes of snow. #poetry #willi
Sometimes I choose a cloud and let it cross the sky floating me away. Or a bird unravels its song and carries me as it flies deeper and deeper into the woods. Is there a way to be gone and still belong? Travel that takes you home? Is that life? - to stand by a river and go. #poetry #williamstafford
Be a person here. Stand by the river, invoke
the owls. Invoke winter, then spring.
Let any season that wants to come here make its own
call. After that sound goes away, wait.
A slow bubble rises through the earth
and begins to include sky, stars, all space,
even the outracing, expanding thought.
Come back and hear the little sound again.
Suddenly this dream you are having matches
everyone’s dream, and the result is the world.
If a different call came there wouldn’t be any
I like to live in the sound of water,
in the feel of mountain air. A sharp
reminder hits me: this world is still alive,
it stretches out there shivering toward its own
creation. and I'm part of it. Even my breathing enters into this elaborate give-and-take,
this bowing to sun and moon. day or night.
winter, summer, storm, still--this tranquil
chaos that seem to be going somewhere.
This wilderness with a great peacefulness in it.
This motionless turmoil, this everything dance
Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose
from all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to. Arbitrary, a sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is and you
can slide your way past trouble. Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path—but that's when
you get going best, glad to be lost,
learning how real it
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 inter
There's a thread you follow. It goes among things that change. But it doesn't change. People wonder about what you are pursuing. you have to explain about the thread. But it is hard for others to see. While you hold it you can't get lost. Tragedies happen: people get hurt or die: and you suffer and get old. Nothing you do can stop time's unfolding. You don't ever let go of the thread. #williamstafford #poetry
Now has come, an easy time. I let it
roll. There is a lake somewhere
so blue and far nobody owns it.
A wind comes by and a willow listens
gracefully. I hear all this, every summer. I laugh
and cry for every turn of the world,
its terribly cold, innocent spin.
That lake stays blue and free; it goes
on and on. And I know where it is. #poetry #williamstafford The Way It Is, New & Selected Poems, Graywolf Press