A David Whyte Poem

I meandered and wondered on the weekend. Into old friendships and old companionships. Into food and scotch, and night-time dreams shared over coffee. Into an island that has meant so much to me over the last 25 years.

I love so many of David Whyte’s poems, who resides on Whidbey. So today, I pull one of his forward that honors that quiet of listening and encountering that he writes of and that so many of us wish for.


It Happens To Those Who Live Alone
David Whyte

It happens to those
who live alone
that they feel sure
of visitors
when no one else
is there,

until the one day
and one particular
working in the
quiet garden,

when they realize
at once,
that all along
they have been
an invitation
to everything
and every kind of trouble

and that life
happens by
to those who

like the bees
the tall mallow
on their legs of gold,
or the wasps
going from door to door
in the tall forest
of the daisies.

I have my freedom
nothing really happened

and nobody came
to see me.
Only the slow
growing of the garden
in the summer heat

and the silence of that
unborn life
making itself
known at my desk,

my hands
dark with the
crumbling soil
as I write
and watch

the first lines
of a new poem,
like flowers
of scarlet fire,
coming to fullness
in a new light.

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