Love and Landscape

Three poems surfaced in the last two weeks. They may seem a little overheated, fresh from the oven. I share them with you for your enjoyment and welcome comment.

Artists came from Italy last night,

arose from vanished studios

to paint our evening sky.

You know their handiwork,

the puffballs floating in the azure bowl overhead,

the mountain ridges stitched in seamless praise

against pellucid porcelain,

the pines a deep Lombardy green,

the distant barns a gesture of inhabitation.

Within their dreamy artifice,

before my eyes, beyond my hand,

two butterflies emerged,

flit late with haste

before the fall.


How did lightning settle

into glowing embers on our hearth?

What pacified white water

into undulating oxbows in our fertile valley?

How could cyclonic winds uprooting ancient trees

relax into a warming summer breeze?

What made an orchard grow amidst volcanic dust,

the tortuous magma cooled to crevices where creatures hide?

How did that steaming love become the rock whereon we stand,

the air we daily breathe,

the water that abates our thirst,

the fruit that slips between our lips,

the warmth that holds us through the night?

How did our crazed concatenation of desire

become a symphony of exaltation?


She sweats,

she doesn’t glow.

He grunts,

his rhythm slow.

Glove to glove,

boot to boot,

They set a form

to hold the concrete

mixed from sand, cement, and gravel.

The mass demands dispatch to fill, press down, and smooth

to make a slab,

receive a bench for leisure hours.

Handing her the rake,

he loads the wheelbarrow high with rocks

to make a wall

against the mountain’s longing for the valley.

They pile compost, dirt, and mulch to make a soil.

He spreads fresh chips along the path.

She scoops out little holes

with a trowel bent from labors past.

Her muddy gloves in cradle round the roots

appoints each plant its station in the ranks of future beauty.

They lean against the wall,

while drinking from the same canteen.

It is a love,

a shovel-ready love.

2 thoughts on “Love and Landscape”

  1. Bill and Sylvia;

    Lynne and I thought we saw the two of you together on the back trail leading away from you house to the waterfall, planting flowers, building a rock wall and spreading fresh wood chips… no doubt from the floor of your woodworking area?

    Did we get it right?

    Steve and Lynne

  2. Thanks for today’s poetry. All three are great.

    I’m still thinking about your recent blog “Getting to the table” That one requires some pondering and I am working on it.

    keep up the good work


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