Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Enriching the Earth



To enrich the earth I have sowed clover and grass

to grow and die. I have plowed in the seeds

of winter grains and various legumes,

their growth to be plowed in to enrich the earth.

I have stirred into the ground the offal

and the decay of the growth of past seasons

and so mended the earth and made its yield increase.

All this serves the dark. Against the shadow

of veiled possibility my workdays stand

in a most asking light. I am slowly falling

into the fund of things. And yet to serve the earth,

not knowing what I serve, gives a wideness

and a delight to the air, and my days

do not wholly pass. It is the mind's service,

for when the will fails so do the hands

and one lives at the expense of life.

After death, willing or not, the body serves,

entering the earth. And so what was heaviest

and most mute is at last raised up into song.

–Wendell Berry


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