I Ask You

3 Candles2

I came across this poem the other day on my company’s Mindfulness community intranet.  This is a great service where employees can create community sites based on their mutual interests on unlimited topics.  The only community I belong to is the Mindfulness community.  I want to share it with you.

I Ask You by Billy Collins

What scene would I want to be enveloped in
more than this one,
an ordinary night at the kitchen table,
floral wallpaper pressing in,
white cabinets full of glass,
the telephone silent,
a pen tilted back in my hand?

It gives me time to think
about all that is going on outside–
leaves gathering in corners,
lichen greening the high grey rocks,
while over the dunes the world sails on,
huge, ocean-going, history bubbling in its wake.

But beyond this table
there is nothing that I need,
not even a job that would allow me to row to work,
or a coffee-colored Aston Martin DB4
with cracked green leather seats.

No, it’s all here,
the clear ovals of a glass of water,
a small crate of oranges, a book on Stalin,
not to mention the odd snarling fish
in a frame on the wall,
and the way these three candles–
each a different height–
are singing in perfect harmony.

So forgive me
if I lower my head now and listen
to the short bass candle as he takes a solo
while my heart
thrums under my shirt–
frog at the edge of a pond–
and my thoughts fly off to a province
made of one enormous sky
and about a million empty branches.

William James, known as Billy Collins, is an American poet, appointed as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003. Source:  Wikipedia

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Author: petecormier

I am a nature artist and community arts practitioner. My art attempts to straddle the liminal zone, that interesting boundary between mindfulness, nature and art.

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