Wendell Berry Has a River

This morning, after my morning prayers, I read a little Wendell Berry poetry (thanks to Brad for getting me hooked). Berry writes a lot of his poetry reflecting on the beautiful place he lives in and farms. He writes a lot about the river he frequents on his Sabbaths.

As I read another poem about that beautiful river I looked around my own backyard in the middle of a West Texas city. The beautiful, pastoral, and idyllic world of the poem and my own world seemed so far apart.

Or were they? I wrote the following poem to find out.

Wendell Berry Has a River by yours truly

Wendell Berry has a river.
I have this backyard, almost square,
enclosed with fence, an alley
behind with trash cans.
The birds are not exotic,
grackles mainly, Quiscalus quiscula,
but I hear them now as I sit
watching my dog who is lounging
in the sun. It will rain
this afternoon. I see the clouds far out
and hear the noise of the city
the cars, the train now
thundering through downtown.
And here's my dog again
chasing a squirrel who chatters
from up in a tree. A standoff
neither knows how to finish.
And there's a flower, yellow, really a weed,
But it's the first spring color
reminding me I need to buy
a new lawnmower at WalMart.
A bee floats lazily by on the breeze.

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