Stranger by Thomas Merton

In this busy season for me serving as an AP English Literature Reader while still being the husband, father, son, musician, and everything else I am to someone in my life, I needed this. Not only is the Merton poem wonderful, but don’t miss the Mary Oliver quote in the reflection as well!

My Pastoral Ponderings

Be still, and know that I am God!

Psalm 46:10

Stranger | Thomas Merton

When no one listens 
To the quiet trees
When no one notices
The sun in the pool

Where no one feels
The first drop of rain
Or sees the last star

Or hails the first morning
Of a giant world
Where peace begins
And rages end:

One bird sits still
Watching the work of God:
One turning leaf,
Two falling blossoms,
Ten circles upon the pond.

One cloud upon the hillside,
Two shadows in the valley
And the light strikes home.
Now dawn commands the capture
Of the tallest fortune
The surrender
Of no less marvelous prize!

Closer and clearer
Than any wordy master
Thou inward Stranger
Whom I have never seen,

Deeper and cleaner
Than the clamorous ocean
Seize up my silence
Hold me in Thy Hand!

Now act is waste
And suffering undone

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