The Poem in my Pocket
It's my birth week and I will remind everyone to carry a poem in their pocket this Thursday, and think me a good birthday thought, wrote Deb
It takes some twenty minutes for the forest
To forget you are there. You don't have to hide.
Sit very still: meditate, or dream, and it begins to open
Little shivers and sways; a rustle as
The new red twigs bend sharply under
Hardly any weight.
That part's easy. The hard part is keeping still
As the forest begins to unfold.
You must not turn to look. Everything
That ought to show itself will show itself
In good time.
It's easy to think that the forest is hiding
Because it does not know you.
If only it were true: the forest knows you better
Than you know yourself. It knows how thin
The thread that keeps your silence.
The longer you are quiet the more you realize
How right the forest is. At the first splash of color
You turn your head; a whir of wings
Cocks your predator's head; your jaws
Open ready to snap.
Quieter than that. Stiller than that
And even stiller to write a birthday poem.
You must wait even longer, trust
That what matters will come of its own accord
Into your field of vision.
If your heart is bursting with extravagances
And declarations then it's simply time to wait.
Those who look do not see;
Those who listen do not hear.
The simple tune
Begins softly in the branches above
Happy birthday to you, in a sleepy murmur
Happy birthday to you, from the thicket close by
Happy birthday dear Deb,
Happy birthday to you.
But even now you must be very quiet
Till the last shadows of the song have
Faltered away over the leafbed, and only rise
When your own quotidian business
Calls you away.