Masters of stillness,

masters of light,

who, when cut by something

falling, go nowhere and heal,

teach me this nowhere,

who, when falling themselves,

simply wait to root

in another direction,

teach me this falling.

Four-hundred-year-old trees,

who draw aliveness from the Earth

like smoke from the heart of God,

we come, not knowing

you will hush our little want

to be big;

we come, not knowing

that all the work is so much

busyness of mind; all

the worry, so much

busyness of heart.

As the sun warms anything near,

being warms everything still,

and the great still things

that outlast us

make us crack

like leaves of laurel

releasing a fragrance

that has always been.

A Question to Walk With: Describe a moment in nature when you experienced something older than your lifetime and what that felt like.

Next month, Sounds True is publishing a major collection of my poetry, The Way Under the Way, which contains three separate books of poetry, gathering 217 poems retrieved and shaped over the past twenty years. These poems span my life’s journey and they center on the place of true meeting that is always near, where we chance to discover our shared humanity and common thread of Spirit. The above poem is from the book.

*photo credit: Vladimir Kudinov

Originally published at on October 24, 2016.

Originally published at