The cold slope is standing in darkness
But the south of the trees is dry to the touch
The heavy limbs climb into the moonlight bearing feathers
I came to watch these
White plants older at night
Come first to the ruins
And I hear magpies kept awake by the moon
The water flows through its
Own fingers without end
Tonight once more
I find a single prayer and it is not for men
– W. S. Merwin from his book The Lice (1967), recently published in a 50th Anniversary Edition by Copper Canyon Press. Copyright © 2017 by W. S. Merwin. Used by permission of the publishers, www.coppercanyonpress.org.
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Featured photo by Jonathan Benson used under Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0). The original image can be found here.