Listening to stillness

Photo credit: Matt Davis

Listen to the trees

“Ah listen, for silence is not lonely:

Imitate the magnificent trees

that speak no word of their

rapture, but only

breathe largely the

luminous breeze.”

D.H. Lawrence


Inspired by this poem, I remembered the three trees outside my Victorian flat in Leeds. They were my guardians and it was a time when I felt very rooted and grounded. I looked out to them most days and we greeted each other when I returned home for the day. They kept me in check when I got caught up in what had passed or what might come with their perennial reminder that everything is in flux and that, beneath it all, there is a great stillness to return to. Again and again. Whenever we forget.


Listening to Lawrence’s trees

Did you see the trees breathe?

Their leaves droop just before dawn,

in the lull before waking,

before the sun shone

and your heart stirred inside the opening.


Can you sense the quiet beingness

of the long standing guardians

who feed on the unseen force of life

without shiver or moan or sigh.


Beneath the always noise.

The ceaseless chatter.

The speeding tracks.

The keyboard taps.

Patiently holding the madness

till it stops and we sleep.

Before waking back into the dream.


Beneath it they stand

rooted into the present silence.

Tuned in to a frequency you can find

if you take the time to be still.

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