In this darkness before dawn,
I cannot see the pond,
or the world,
but my reflection in the window,
like a ghost,
is all I see
when I look up from this chair
and take another breath
and feel my beating heart
swelling that I am here in this silence,
waking to another dawn
another chance to love
coming through my window
from far away.
And sitting here,
with a lamp nearby
bringing me the light I need
to write these words,
I take a sip of coffee,
then looking up
see me sitting in the window
hovering above the pond,
smiling at myself
lifting my cup.
Thoughts on a Sunny Morning
On this sunny morning,
looking at this pristine pond—
clouds floating on its surface,
the blue sky shining on the water,
the air quiet after yesterday’s wild howling—
and sitting here in my glowing room,
remembering the news I saw last night
of wild fires burning miles of forests,
hundreds of houses swallowed by the flames,
while neighbors stand together
holding in their arms what they can,
their dogs and cats beside them,
and I close my eyes and look away.
I think about this pond, so clean and pure,
not like the dirty rivers or dying lakes
where dead fish float.
I think about the mountains being raped
for coal and smoke stacks
spitting soot and fumes.
I think about the storms and rising seas
and what will happen as the days get hotter
and the land is parched and nothing grows.
I think about my children and theirs
and the billions who will breathe the humid air,
and I remember how it was when I was young,
and could swim in ponds like this
and play without a care.
“The party’s over,” someone said last night
before the commercial break
as I sit here in my chair,
watching the morning move across the pond,
Thinking of Thoreau
I wonder what Thoreau would say
if he were sitting with me by this pond.
Would he say–
let this be your Walden,
let the silence be sweet madrigals
in the quiet air?
And would he say
travel wide and far
sitting in your chair.
Let each day be another destination.
Love where you are.
And I wonder would he smile at me
when there’s nothing more to say,
then look out at the pond,
before he walks away?
Arnold Greenberg lives in Blue Hill, Maine in a tiny pentagon shaped cabin in the woods overlooking a trout pond where he writes every day beginning at 4 AM. He has written six novels and three collections of poetry. He has not published widely but hopes to.