Poem for December

The Peace of Wild Things


When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day – blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

By Wendell Berry


Selected by Heather Gough

I like this poem because it is so calming when, paradoxically, it exactly pictures the anxieties which arise in the depth of night when it is so difficult to escape such concerns. It seems appropriate to the times we are living through yet optimistic in that it tells us that we will prevail.

With thanks to Heather for selecting this month’s poem.