'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Tuesday, 15 July 2008



by Wendell Berry and adapted for New Zealand by me.

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the middle of the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,

I go and lie down in my kayak where the pukeko

rests in his blue beauty in the wetlands, and the kingfisher feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting for their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


  1. Only slighly altered from the original. That's a nice and relevant thing to do. I had never seen this salutary poem before. Somehow it reminds me of "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by W.B.Yeats - about having time out - finding a different and more simple reality.

  2. ...I will arise and go now....
    Thanks for commenting YP. Yes, 'a more simple reality'. That's exactly what I'm looking for. Couldn't have put it better myself.

  3. Hi, Katherine,

    That's one of my favorite poems.

    Like you, I find kayaking a wonderful way to be out in the wonders of the natural world.


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