Earth and Fire by Wendell Berry

In this woman the earth speaks.
Her words open in me, cells of light
flashing in my body, and make a song
that I follow toward her out of my need.
The pain I have given her I wear
like another skin, tender, the air
around me flashing with thorns.
And yet such joy as I have given her
sings in me and is part of her song.
The winds of her knees shake me
like a flame. I have risen from her,
time and again, a new man.

Weekend Bathers by Kenneth Patchen

Sun on their naked shoulders
Like a sparkling hand;
Marge and her big-legged sweetie
Laughing to beat the band—
O glory in the Garden!
He finds her halter straps
And such pretties are exposed;
Yet, Wonder—now what is that?
Perhaps the water knows.
Thunder rides with the gnat.
Ah, each day a weaker bridge is crossed,
And nearer rush the wings;
Too soon all youthful swagger’s lost
In the dark hurry of things.

Since the Tiny Yellow Rose by Kenneth Patchen

Since the tiny yellow rose
In the vase beside the candles

And the single drop of water
Upon this leafs uppermost tip

—Proof of mystery? or just
Two meaningless occurrences from
A meaningless physical world?

And your lovely fingers lifting a cup,
Or smoothing a crease in the table cloth
—To me so beautiful that my heart cries
With joy and pride at their nearness

What There Is by Kenneth Patchen

In this my green world
Flowers birds are hands
They hold me
I am loved all day
All this pleases me
I am amused
I have to laugh from crying
Trees mountains are arms
I am loved all day

Children grass are tears
I cry
I am loved all day
Everything
Pompous makes me laugh
I am amused often enough
In this
My beautiful green world

O there’s love all day

A Homecoming by Wendell Berry

One faith is bondage. Two
are free. In the trust
of old love, cultivation shows
a dark graceful wilderness
at its heart. Wild
in that wilderness, we roam
the distances of our faith,
safe beyond the bounds
of what we know. O love,
open. Show me
my country. Take me home.

Planting Trees by Wendell Berry

In the mating of trees,
the pollen grain entering invisible
the doomed room of the winds, survives
the ghost of the old forest
that stood here when we came. The ground
invites it, and it will not be gone.
I become the familiar of that ghost
and its ally, carrying in a bucket
twenty trees smaller than weeds,
and I plant them along the way
of the departure of the ancient host.
I return to the ground its original music.
It will rise out of the horizon
of the grass, and over the heads
of the weeds, and it will rise over
the horizon of men’s heads. As I age
in the world it will rise and spread,
and be for this place horizon
and orison, the voice of its wΔ°nds.
I have made myself a dream to dream
of its rising, that has gentled my nights.
Let me desire and wish well the life
these trees may live when I
no longer rise in the mornings
to be pleased by the green of them
shining, and their shadows on the ground,
and the sound of the wind in them.