(47) Spontaneous Gospel (The Pines)

Now I must wait and be still and say nothing I don’t know,

nothing I haven’t lived over and over,

and that’s everything.  — Philip Levine  1928-2015


Contemplating writing.

Reading the writing of others,

specifically “Gospel” by Philip Levine

who left us behind just recently;

a well-known poet, who is speaking the

good news to me today.

Contemplating writing

and what it means to me and others.

It’s my breath.  It’s my art.

It’s the pine trees swaying and the reflection in the water.

“Now I must wait and be still and say nothing I don’t know…”


We all live the same things over and over again.

It is the water — the rain, the river, the mirage in the desert.

Today I seek for that aliveness that is buried somewhere,

somewhere deep in me.  The place where the pine trees

sway and I sway with them, the place that never leaves me,

whether in Ohio or Florida.  Those pines.


Levine writes:

…The pines make

a music like no other, rising and

falling like a distant surf at night

that calms the darkness before

first light…”

He writes with enjambment because he has

so much to say it is pouring out of him, as it

should be for all of us.  Living the same life

over and over, rising and falling, feeling stuck then

feeling alive, over and over, that’s everything.


I seek quiet aliveness today.


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