When no one listens, notices or sees…


 “A Bridge For Contemplation” by Barbara Hirst (2011)STRANGER

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.

Thomas Merton



  1. “Stranger” poem above is abridged & sourced from Whiskey River.  Full poem can be found at Poetry-Chaikhana.com.
  2. Post Inspired by Canadian Art Junkie.
  3. Art: “A Bridge For Contemplation” by artist Barbara Hirst (2011).  Thank You Peter Robertson Gallery.


  1. Beautiful poem. Beautiful art.


  2. A perfect poem and art for today..Your timing is impeccable.


  3. How perfect!


  4. I feel a special kinship to this author. One of my uncles and Thomas Merton were both Trappist monks living at the beautiful monastery Gethsemani, near Bardstown, Kentucky many decades ago. Because of this connection, I read Merton’s book _The Seven Story Mountain_. After my own contact with him through his writing, I am now drawn to anything penned by him.

    Thank you for this beautiful poem. When we fail to notice and appreciate the glories of nature (the work of God), at least the critters will watch. I believe that Merton is indicting us for not taking the time to truly listen, feel, and welcome what He created.

    I know that after Merton left the world behind, chose the life of a cloistered monk, and further isolated himself within the monastery, he wrote about the lure and corruption of the world. I think this poem reflects this.

    I know there’s much more here and I want to spend time with this poem. I wonder if the one leaf and two blossoms falling into the water creating ten concentric circles is a metaphor telling us that if just a few of us do something (good or evil) the effect is much greater than the one or two.

    Oh, much longer comment than I’d intended. Sorry.


    • Hi Mona. Thanks for sharing the amazing back story with Merton and your family. And for sharing your thoughts. I really like your interpretation of the leaf, blossoms and concentric circles. Thanks for sharing. Dave


      • You are quite welcome. I tend to annoy people around me with my ramblings about what I read. I love the blog because I can ramble all I need to and people can chose to read or not.


  5. This is an extraordinary image


  6. Beautiful poem,enjoyed Mona’s comment also. Image is also very good.


  7. Reblogged this on Ram0ram's happiness notes…….


  8. Hello David. Your posts are very often worthy of “re-blogging”. Thank you for the consistent inspiration, art and humor. I am nominating you for the 7 X 7 Link Award. Please see more at http://influenceversuscontrol.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/gratitude-4-the-7-x-7-link-award/


  9. Inspirational!


  10. Ahhh, Merton! A little deep for Monday morning… 😀

    More coffee!


  11. This is a wonderful share! I also like Mona’s thoughts on this poem. Thank you both for starting my day with something to ponder and enjoy!


  12. Lovely free verse and inspiration perfectly married with the artwork. Thank you!


  13. Love the picture and the quote. Jay


  14. I want to stay awhile longer on the limb with that bird and Thomas Merton. Thanks so much for the joy in this post!


  15. loving the image David 😉


  16. This is such a beautiful poem. It has certainly made my day. Thank you.


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