Assurance: a poem by William Stafford and autumn photographs

Wawona, CA.  November 2013

Wawona, CA. November 2013

We were fortunate enough to be able to spend most of last week in Yosemite.  Though all seasons are wonderful there, late fall is my favorite in the Sierras.  It had recently snowed, and another storm was said to be moving in, but our days were mild, and the winter light was on fire.  Wherever I walked, a poem by William Stafford accompanied me.

Wawona, CA.  November, 2013

Wawona, CA. November, 2013

Assurance by William Stafford

You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or the silence after lightening before it says
its names- and then the clouds’ wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles- you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rock, and years. You turn your head-
that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.
The whole wide world pours down.

– from The Way It Is, Graywolf Press, 1999

Yosemite Valley, November 2013

Yosemite Valley, November 2013

You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes.

Yosemite Valley, November 2013

Yosemite Valley, November 2013

Yosemite Valley, November, 2013

Yosemite Valley, November, 2013

Yellow pulls across the hills and thrums

Yosemite Valley, November, 2013

Yosemite Valley, November, 2013

You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone.

Yosemite Valley, November, 2013

Yosemite Valley, November, 2013

You turn your head-
that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.

Wawona, CA.  November, 2013

Wawona, CA. November, 2013

The whole wide world pours down.

11 thoughts on “Assurance: a poem by William Stafford and autumn photographs

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