Thursday, November 24, 2016

A SMALL PORCH ~




Wendell Berry with horses on his farm
Courtesy of Platform Media Group




VIII.

A SMALL PORCH IN THE WOODS


9.


To care for what we know requires

care for what we don't, the world's lives

dark in the soil, dark in the dark.



Forbearance is the first care we give

to what we do not know. We live

by lives we don't intend, lives

that exceed our thoughts and needs, outlast

our designs, staying by passing through,

surviving again and again the risky passages

from ice to warmth, dark to light.



Rightness of scale is our second care:

the willingness to think and work

within the limits of our competence

to do no permanent wrong to anything

of permanent worth to the earth's life,

known or unknown, now or ever, never

destroying by knowledge, unknowingly,

what we do not know, so that the world

in its mystery, the known unknown world,

will live and thrive while we live.


                     .    .    .


And our competence to do no

permanent wrong to the land

is limited by the land's competence

to suffer our ignorance, our errors,

and — provided the scale

is right — to recover, to be made whole.



_________________



WENDELL BERRY
A Small Porch

Sabbath Poems 2014 and 2015
together with 
"The Presence of Nature in the Natural World:
A Long Conversation"

C O U N T E R P O I N T, 2016






No comments: