I love Wendell Berry’s poetry, so I was delighted to find this in the Advent collection on Education for Justice.
The river takes the land, and leaves nothing.Where the great slip gave way in the bankand an acre disappeared, all human plansdissolve. An awful clarification occurswhere a place was. Its memory breaksfrom what is known now, begins to drift.Where cattle grazed and trees stood, emptinesswidens the air for birdflight, wind, and rain.As before the beginning, nothing is there.Human wrong is in the cause, humanruin in the effect–but no matter;all will be lost, no matter the reason.Nothing, having arrived, will stay.The earth, even, is like a flower, so soonpasseth it away. And yet this nothingis the seed of all–the clear eyeof Heaven, where all the worlds appear.Where the imperfect has departed, the perfectbegins its struggle to return. The good giftbegins again its descent. The maker movesin the unmade, stirring the water untilit clouds, dark beneath the surface,stirring and darkening the soul until painperceives new possibility. There is nothingto do but learn and wait, return to work
on what remains. Seed will sprout in the scar.
Though death is in the healing, it will heal
Source: The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry, by Wendell Berry. Washington,D.C.: Counterpoint, 1999.