garden canyon

All night while the rain fell
the dark valley heard in silence
the silent valley did not remember
you were asleep beside me
while the rain fell all around us
I listened to you breathing
I wanted to remember
the sound of your breath
but we lay there forgetting
asleep and awake
forgetting a breath at a time
while the rain went on falling around us
—  W.S. Merwin, “The Sound of Forgetting,” Garden Time (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)
All night while the rain fell
the dark valley heard in silence
the silent valley did not remember
you were asleep beside me
while the rain fell all around us
I listened to you breathing
I wanted to remember
the sound of your breath
but we lay there forgetting
asleep and awake
forgetting a breath at a time
while the rain went on falling around us
—  W.S. Merwin, from “ The Sound of Forgetting,“ Garden Time (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)
Last night I slept on the floor of the sea
in an unsounded part of the ocean
in the morning it was a long way up
through the dark streets of a silent country
with no language in its empty houses
until I had almost reached the surface
of a morning that I had never seen
then a breeze came to it and I began
to remember the voices of young leaves …
—  W.S. Merwin, from “A Breath of Day,” Garden Time (Copper Canyon Press, 2016
There are questions that I no longer ask
and others that I have not asked for a long time
that I return to and dust off and discover
that I’m smiling and the question
has always been me and that it is
no question at all but that it means
different things at the same time
[…]
and I am the morning
in which the autumn leaves have no question
as the breeze passes through them and is gone
—  W.S. Merwin, from “Old Man At Home Alone in the Morning,” Garden Time (Copper Canyon Press, 2016