Here are two poems by man named Wendell Berry. He is probably my all time favorite poet. He has also written in other forms, mostly novels and essays, but I think it safe to say he is best loved as a poet. At least by me. These poems were originally published in 1968 in a collection called "Openings". He is still alive and publishing today, but his primary occupation has always been farming. He continues to live and work in his native Kentucky and is 74 years old. I was fortunate enough to hear him in person once when I was in college, way back in the 80's.
The Want of Peace
All goes back to the earth,
and so I do not desire
pride of excess or power,
but the contentments made
by men who have had little:
the fisherman’s silence
receiving the river’s grace,
the gardener’s musing on rows.
I lack the peace of simple things.
I am never wholly in place.
I find no peace or grace.
We sell the world to buy fire,
our way lighted by burning men,
and that has bent my mind
and made me think of darkness
and wish for the dumb life of roots.
The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.