Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gratitude "that we are here"

yesterday i expressed gratitude. gratitude for holiday cheer. gratitude for the life i am blessed to live.
 below is a poem by Philip Booth. as the November days rolled by, i read it over & over. each time feeling more grateful than the last. read. savor. enjoy!

after George Oppen
by Philip Booth

That we are here: that we can question who
we are, where; that we relate to how deer

once small have grown bold in our back garden;
that we can ask, ask even ourselves, how

to the other we may appear, here in the always near place
we seem to ourselves to inhabit, who sleep toward

and wake from steeped hills, the sea opening into our eyes
the infinite possibility of infinity

we believe we're neither beyond nor shy of,
here as we are, without doubt, amid then, there,

and now, falling through dark into light, and back,
against which we cannot defend, wish as we might, as we do,

Still, the physicist said, the mystery is
that we are here, here at all, still bearing with,

and borne by, all we try to make sense of:
this evening two does and a fawn who browse

the head lettuce we once thought was ours.
But no. As we chase them off mildly, and make

and odd salad of what they left us, the old stars
come casually out, and we see near and far we own nothing:

it's us belong to all else; who, given this day,
are touched by, and touch, our tenderest knowing,

our lives incalculably dear as we feel for each other,
our skin no more or less thin than that of redwing,

rainbow, star-nose, or whitethroat, enfolded like us
in the valleys and waves of this irrefutable planet.

I would love to know your thoughts on Booth's poem! Please leave comments below!
Want to read another poem I love? Click here.


  1. So glad I've taken this moment to read back through the last couple weeks of your archives. This poem is absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Bethany, so glad we have a mutual love of this poem!

    Ever since I came across it a month ago, I've kept going back to it. With each reading, the poem has become more vivid and alive.


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