Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Busy with many things, I know you are,
And watch you turn away and close the door.
I see it in the way you drive your car,
In how things clutter on your kitchen floor.
Someone will advertise new ways to mend it,
To find a method and a discipline,
But you and they both know you’ll never end it,
Just fall for schemes to get rich or grow thin.

Even so, beneath the stirrings of your heart,
There lies some memory of peace and stillness,
An image uncontrived by human art
That makes this life seem one persistent illness.
Turn inward then, just as those teachers say,
Who make of silence words by which to pray.

—James Matthew Wilson

Image by Nenad Stojkovic licensed via Creative Commons. Image cropped.