Sunday, June 15, 2014

William Stafford: "Listening"

My father could hear a little animal step,
or a moth in the dark against the screen,
and every far sound called the listening out
into places where the rest of us had never been.

More spoke to him from the soft wild night
than came to our porch for us on the wind;
we would watch him look up and his face go keen
till the walls of the world flared, widened.

My father heard so much that we still stand
inviting the quiet by turning the face,
waiting for a time when something in the night
will touch us too from that other place.

"Listening" by William Stafford, from West of Your City. © Talisman Press, 1960.  

Art credit: Untitled image (#3 of 4) by unknown photographer.


  1. 'googling' the poem, wouldn't comment, but read 'emptiness or our hands' and like the synchronicity ... sought the line "inviting the quiet by turning the face", from a FB post of pretty lady w/ hand to head - gets me to wonder, to return to 'awe', which this poem is all about - chet c

  2. this is so sick dog


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