Wednesday, January 2, 2013

William Stafford: "You Reading This, Be Ready"

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now? Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day. This interval you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life––

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

"You Reading This, Be Ready" by William Stafford, from The Way It Is. © Graywolf Press, 1998.

Photograph (originally black and white) by Daniel Slaughter.


  1. I just discovered your website, and I am sooooo grateful! Thank you :)

    1. You are sooooo welcome! Enjoy browsing, Edeline!

  2. "Are you waiting for time to show you some better thoughts?" I'd guess some of us are, actually, and this is a reminder that each moment is its own new start.


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