Dawn. With Smith and Rio, Old Farm Road. August 19, 2015.
selection from Part II, Sabbaths 2005-2008
in Leavings: Poems, (p 92-93) by Wendell Berry
Found your hope, then, on the ground under your feet.
Your hope of Heaven, let it rest on the ground
underfoot. Be lighted by the light that falls
freely upon it after the darkness of the nights
and the darkness of our ignorance and madness.
Let it be lighted also by the light that is within you,
which is the light of imagination. By it you see
the likeness of people in other places to yourself
in your place. It lights invariably the need for care
toward other people, other creatures, in other places
as you would ask them for care toward your place and you.
And saying goodbye to another dear friend, Joi Johanssen, who passed away last week, and in whose memory many of us gathered today, I kept thinking of this poem by Kathleen Raine
Who Are We?
Not that I remember, but that I am
Memory, am all that has befallen
Unbroken being and knowing
Whose flow has brought me here, laden with the forgotten
Times and places, once here and now
Of those who were, from day to day,
From life to life, as I,
Presences of that omnipresence without end or beginning,
Omniscient through our being,
That brings and takes away the unremembered living
Moments of joy and wisdom, the once-familiar
Rooms and temples and fountains, the long-ago gardens
Of a thousand summers, music once heard,
Travelling through me and on, like a wave
Of sound, a gleam
Irrecapturable. And who are we
Who gather each one leaf, one life of the myriadfold tree
Of the lost domain, and mourn
The flowing away of all we never were, or knew?
Promises, messages reach us, instruct us,
The untold, the untellable, undying
Heart’s desire, resonance
Of elsewhere, once, some day, for ever.
From Collected Poems of Kathleen Raine (Golgonooza Press, 2000)
– and from PoetryArchive.org