Today's poem is by Jeff Hardin


Word comes today along the lengths of rain
and through the shiver-spray of hedgerows.
All my life I've listened, not always for a human voice.
Sometimes I've heard the cool sleep of ferns.

A little seems left out of whatever is or isn't.
Even in my woods I am at best a stir.
Whatever the leaves wish to do with me
I won't be found akilter, nor plaintive.

For trees, shape must be a reward—jut, hoist,
spurn and leap, gape, harden. For trees,
their highest parts mingle. Some thoughts
must be tracked like a snow field near dusk.

There are too many empty boats in Japanese paintings.
What does this hold, given the eighteen months
my child has been a presence on the globe?
With precision, the right tone, can a question be an altar?

I feel spoken to some days, and unable to respond.
Mist ennobles all participants no matter the scene.
Yellow, the most medicinal of colors, seems to weep
on behalf of many in the world not near themselves.

Copyright © 2002 Jeff Hardin All rights reserved
from Deep in the Shallows
Green Tower Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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