With its final two dramatic and wonderful questions, this week’s poem reminds us to listen to the natural world even when we’re busy with the day to day.

Stuart Kestenbaum is the Maine state poet laureate and lives in Deer Isle. He’s the author of four books of poems, most recently “Only Now” (Deerbrook Editions, 2014).

One note on process: Kestenbaum wrote this poem by asking people for great words and then finding a way between those words. If you’d like to write a poem, you might try something similar.

Evening Song

By Stuart Kestenbaum

At first you can’t hear

the melody, your mind

being too busy replaying

the vicissitudes of everyday

with its petty deceits.

Does it feel

that you are

betrothed to a burden?

Toward evening you walk

into your field to see

the larvae of weevils

ready to burrow into

everything you’ve planted.

Time to blame someone else,

caterwaul against confusion.

And then you hear them,

the spring peepers in the pond, emerging

from some salubrious laboratory

of life, to sing, if not a hymn of happiness

then at least a raucous tune

made of water and light.

Why not laugh?

How much more

do you need?

Gibson Fay-LeBlanc is Portland’s poet laureate. Deep Water: Maine Poems is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2017 Stuart Kestenbaum. It appears here by permission of the author. This column is accepting submissions through Oct. 31. Poems must be written by Maine poets or about Maine. Submissions must be made online. For more information go to mainewriters.org/program/deep-water.

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