Jane and I went on a “Tree Walk” at our favorite local nature center on Sunday afternoon. A botanist and a natural historian, a wonderful husband-and-wife team, led us through a quiet wood, identifying trees and waxing eloquent about turtles sunning themselves on a log. Jane took some great pictures. This one, portraying a beaver’s handiwork, is my favorite.
And this one reminded me of a John Ashbery poem.
by John Ashbery
These are amazing: each
Joining a neighbor, as though speech
Were a still performance.
Arranging by chance
To meet as far this morning
From the world as agreeing
With it, you and I
Are suddenly what the trees try
To tell us we are:
That their merely being there
Means something; that soon
We may touch, love, explain.
And glad not to have invented
Some comeliness, we are surrounded:
A silence already filled with noises,
A canvas on which emerges
A chorus of smiles, a winter morning.
Place in a puzzling light, and moving,
Our days put on such reticence
These accents seem their own defense.