Soul's Rest Cottage

La Conner, Washington

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The river glides in silence.

The night is deep,

    like a loving mother.

A silence goes back and forth

    through the marsh.

The same silence that was here

in my shack waiting for me.

    It was always here.

I was gone so long, now

the silence is so much deeper, and

    I sink down into it.

The sadness I met in the world

    falls away from me

One by one my dreams return.

                     *  *  *

Everything good I put into my house

    is here,

    living in the silence.

Boards placed a certain way.

A window facing the moon.

A straight-back chair at the table.

Gifts received, and

    pottery bowls and cups

    I made with my own hands.

Things crude and useful that began

    from enthusiasm

    and keep that life

    and give it back.

Talismans and pieces of string.

                     *  *  *

In the night silence

my house speaks to me.

It leaves me alone

a long time, but

then it reaches out.

A gentle hand

    penetrates my body.

Through the flesh

it reaches in, and on one rib

below my heart leaves hanging

    a small silver box

    with all my good dreams

    inside it.

”Nothing can ever

be taken from you


                       Robert Sund (1929-2001)



Northwest poet Robert Sund lived for many years in LaConner.

Much of that time was spent in a small cabin on Sullivan Slough,

an estuary of Skagit Bay near the cabin from which the above photo was taken. 

--John and MarySue Brooks