RSS Feed


I sometimes feel lost in the world, without bearings. David Wagoner counseled that when we feel lost to stop and listen to the world, as if it were the forest and a powerful stranger able to speak to us.

When I stop and pray, I ask someone for help, but, if I rush on, without listening, the prayer cannot be answered. I pose a question that I cannot answer. Prayer is not just speaking. My heart opens and receives what is returned to me.

Is it in the form of words? Or, is it the gentle breath that is hardly perceptible? When I am mindful and listen to listen, I intuitively sense differences. Mindfulness becomes an attentive and sensitive way of life, as opposed to just happening.

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you,
If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

17 responses »

  1. You keep introducing me to all these cool people Ivon. First it was Mary Oliver, then Danna Faulds and now this guy. I love this. Thanks for enlightening me. 🙂 ❤

    • I am glad you enjoy this poem. I must confess that many of the poets I read came via Parker Palmer’s writing and his workshops. Parker writes poetry and shares his and other poetry in his books and at workshops that he helped “design.” Design is not the right word as they are very organic.

  2. This is the second time today I have seen this same poem….and I have never seen it before today! It is beautiful and I needed to see it…thank you!

  3. Stand still…snd look, listen, feel…move only then…when you feel.
    What a splendid thought in our overwhelmingly busy times…

  4. The mountain men, the scouts of the west stayed alive by not only hearing the forest, the animals sounds but by knowing the sounds that were absent.

    It is what we do not hear also that is part of listening.

    The absence of sound can be a warning of danger in nature.

  5. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  6. Words and the images evoked spoke volumes to me, glad stopped and listened.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: