The wind and balmy breeze
Blow softly through the trees.
All the darkness of the night,
Disappears in morning light.

The shadows on the ground,
They do not make a sound.
Birds awakened, singing sweet,
Make the forest seem complete.

This world we call the Earth,
Comes into view at birth,
For a brief moment in time,
In this universe sublime.



After fifty thousand miles and five years as a hitchhiker, living on the road and streets in towns and cities across America, David Paul Behrens followed with a career as an over the road dispatcher in the trucking industry. He is now retired and living in La Verne, California. His website is

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11 Responses

  1. Martin Rizley

    A lovely and delicate picture painted here of the day´s most peaceful hour. I like the way you engage in your description the senses of sight, sound, and touch.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    David, in high school English I was always taught never to employ a double subject, which is what you have done with:

    “The shadows on the ground,
    They do not make a sound.”

    The two subjects, of course, are “shadows” & “they.”

    This is an easy fix. For instance:

    The shadows on the ground
    Will never make a sound.

    You would never write, “My cousins they had bad teeth,” but instead, “My cousins had bad teeth.” This is a small point, but one worth taking note of. A poet’s freedom of choice does not imply license to violate normative rules of good diction and sound sentence structure.

  3. Paul Oratofsky

    For a title, “Snapshot” feels too general – it could be anything seen. Maybe “Forest,” or “Hiking,” or such.

      • Martin Rizley

        I picked up on the idea behind the title “snapshot” from your use of the word “seem” when you write “Birds awakened, singing sweet, make the forest seem complete.” The forest may “seem” complete, but in fact, what we perceive with our senses is a perceptually limited snapshot of a sublime reality that far transcends our view.

  4. C.B. Anderson

    Yes, Martin, and I think the author made that clear in the last two lines of the poem. And, of course, as Plato would have it, what we see of the world is only shadows projected on a cave wall. I hope the situation is somewhat better than that, but hope, though a cardinal virtue, is sometimes a vain exercise. I think that faith and charity are better virtues by far. At least I hope so.

  5. Paul Oratofsky

    Yes, I see that now. I didn’t give that much (enough) weight to that last stanza – especially its third line.


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