life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

Archive for the month “July, 2011”

There Are Woods

Where I lived there were woods

where I walked in contemplation

every morning and evening.

People asked when I moved,

Are there woods? Can you walk?

Yes, there are woods, deep and quiet,

where I walk in silence each day.


And if there weren’t,

there is still a stand of trees nearby,

where I could sit and listen.

And if they were gone,

there would be my back yard,

and a little garden,

and if there were no yard

I could still sit in this chair

and gaze out the window

at the neighbor’s trees.

And if there were no window,

no trees across the way,

if I could not walk

or gaze or see at all,


there are still these gentle woods

that stretch out forever,

deep and verdant, in my heart,

where I go every morning and evening,

and whenever I want,

in the quiet.


And so do You,

walking in the cool of the shade.

I know you’re here

by your great footprints

of silence.

This is what you shall do

by Walt Whitman

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

“This is what you shall do…” by Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass. Public domain.

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