Shout of Joy

 

“On Ice” – Bridgewater Canal , Cheshire, oil on canvas, 20x20cm

THE WINTER OF LISTENING
No one but me by the fire,

my hands burning

red in the palms while

the night wind carries

everything away outside.

 

All this petty worry

while the great cloak

of the sky grows dark

and intense

round every living thing.

 

All this trying

to know

who we are

and all this

wanting to know

exactly

what we must do.

 

What is precious

inside us does not

care to be known

by the mind

in ways that diminish

its presence.

 

What we strive for

in perfection

is not what turns us

into the lit angel

we desire.

 

What disturbs

and then nourishes

has everything we need.

 

What we hate in ourselves

is what we cannot know

in ourselves but

what is true to the pattern

does not need to be explained.

 

Inside everyone

is a great shout of joy

waiting to be born…

 

David Whyte…
Excerpt from ‘The Winter of Listening’

From RIVER FLOW: New and Selected Poems

Many Rivers Press. © David Whyte

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