The poems were birthed while Berry looked out of the multi-paned window of his writing studio which he called "The Long-Legged House."
“Window Poem” 15.The sycamore gathers
out of the sky, white
in the glance that looks up to it
through the black crisscross
of the window. But it is not a glance
that it offers itself to.
It is no lightning stroke
caught in the eye. It stays,
an old holding in place.
And its white is not so pure
as a glance would have it,
but emerges partially,
the tree’s renewal of itself,
among the mottled browns
and olives of the old bark.
Its dazzling comes into the sun
a little at a time
as though a god in it
is slowly revealing himself.
How often the man of the window
has studied its motley trunk,
the out-starting of its branches,
its smooth crotches,
its revelations of whiteness,
hoping to see beyond his glances,
the distorting geometry
of preconceptions and habit,
to know it beyond words.
All he has learned of it
does not add up to it.
There is a bird who nests in it
in the summer and seems to sing of it-
the quick lights among its leaves
-better than he can.
It is not by him imagining
its whiteness comes.
The world is greater than its words.
To speak of it the mind must bend.