The Woods

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter

We converse
the trees and I
in languages unspoken
with words undefined
Read each other
without glasses

We know them
by their species
the hemlock and the fir
the alder and the maple
as they know us
by our violence

When we first
came among them
they were to us as stones
to be cleared from fields
made their bones
into our cities

They show me
their deep scars
the stumps of the ancient
the hollow of their youth
hallowed ground
washed to sea

We converse
the trees and I
Listen! You can hear the sigh
Whisper softly if you’d reply
Nests of robins
in their hair!

“A place is not fully a place until it has had its poet.”

~ Wallace Stegner


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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2 Responses to The Woods

  1. SalvaVenia says:

    Yes, we have lost too many a language earlier man still knew …


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