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Sometimes: DAVID WHYTE


if you move carefully

through the forest,


like the ones

in the old stories,

who could cross

a shimmering bed of leaves

without a sound,

you come

to a place

whose only task

is to trouble you

with tiny

but frightening requests,

conceived out of nowhere

but in this place

beginning to lead everywhere.

Requests to stop what

you are doing right now,


to stop what you

are becoming

while you do it,


that can make

or unmake

a life,


that have patiently

waited for you


that have no right

to go away.

From David Whyte: Essentials (2019). David Whyte says of the poem Sometimes that he got his inspiration from nature, and specifically, from an illustrated book of Native American stories he received as a child. The story that stood out for him had an ‘image of a young boy in a primeval forest being taught by an elder how to cross a piece of broken ground, without making a single sound.’ He adds, ‘we are all moving silently and unannounced, all transiting and maturing into new territories and new dispensations without the essentials of those transitions ever having been explained or spoken.’ 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

MARTINA NICOLLS – MartinaNicollsWebsite

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