by Wendell Berry
Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer's end. In time's maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed's marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
Wendell Erdman Berry is an American novelist, poet, essayist, environmental activist, cultural critic, and farmer. Closely identified with rural Kentucky, Berry developed many of his agrarian themes in the early essays of The Gift of Good Land and The Unsettling of America.