Thursday, October 15, 2015

October 15

Albert Bierstadt Work Albert Bierstadt's work,_California_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg


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  3. I appreciated your comments today about the artist and the problem with these romanticized views of the west. I tried to use those in the poem, and invented a form, to go along with the "invented" emptiness of the landscape. it IS a weird picture and the more i looked at it, the more it bothered me. thanks!

  4. Bierstadt — sierra nevadas — reverse tanka

    Heaven looks like this
    Skyscraper mountains, pure light
    Never ending streams tall trees
    Light overcomes dark — sometimes

    Here sky vanquishes
    Not like the cities of home
    Where coal burns air and the poor
    People and the immigrants

    Ruin the view. Here
    It’s empty. I say it is
    No one lives here, it’s all ours
    Look at this picture: take it.

  5. Way Out West, Where Eden Hides

    A wall of snow capped mountains
    keeping the world out on one side
    and the secrets in on the other
    they stand guard like the Cherubim
    who blocked the entrance to Eden
    looming... the Titans of the west
    down below a mystic paradise
    untouched by man or by time
    their secrets have no need to hide
    clear and blue, the icy lake water
    cuddle against the towering pines
    serenaded by the whispering wind
    the red clay soil caked with needles
    and imprints of a creatures feet
    give no hint of what's underneath
    spirits of the elders glide past
    weaving in and out of the waterfall
    purifying themselves once more
    way out west, where Eden hides
    is a magic for those who find it
    but doom for who tries to take it

    1. I love your take on this. Captures the mood of the piece definitely!

  6. In 1868
    You painted California forests
    With towering trees
    Breathing lungs
    Of the landscape
    Rooted in

    As your brush
    Broke into sienna
    and forest green
    across your canvas
    Was it peaceful, or
    Did you notice
    The elk alert
    Did you hear
    the crosscut saw?

    Sipping tea today in this house
    Built in 1910
    I am surrounded
    By kidnapped victims
    Chopped into beam
    Joist, and panel
    Redwoods abducted
    From old growth
    California forest.

    Fixing a longtime leaky roof
    In 2010
    The surprised worker found
    Redwood walls
    With no lost integrity
    Does your painting now display
    A foreground
    Of well weathered stumps
    Your mountains.

    1. Oh that last was brilliant and I love the kidnap victims!

  7. You invited me to an escape up north
    a visit to the tranquility of pristine waters.
    Nature’s purification for young
    city-souls, an exciting date but

    my prettiest shoes were ruined
    by your motorcycle pedal-rest, your
    ugly helmet flattened my fluffy hair.
    The wind stole conversation and
    you forgot my existence while you
    twisted through mountain turns
    in a noxious landscape, all roadside
    motels were full and you stood
    powerless and wide eyed when I cried.

    Then you took uncharted, rutted roads
    into the forest with an enchanted
    wood cabin but the iron bed was
    like an uncomfortable rack
    without a mattress and scary
    ghoulish bodies knocked
    about in the attic, while you
    pretended to be sound sleep,
    afraid to discover what it was;
    a raccoon rollicking above us.
    Bearded hunters mocked and cussed
    when we were discovered in their
    sacred den before dawn’s early and
    much too bright, bright light.

    In the bleary morning we discovered
    the magic lake with its small row boat.
    You huffed and puffed as you
    stroked me towards the enticing side
    of the enchanted lake to make love
    but the terrain was mush and marsh
    and I didn’t share your passion
    about exposing my ass in the
    the charming pasture, inviting bugs
    and mosquitoes to bite my skin.

    By now we were starving,
    and we feasted on sweaty balls
    of processed cheese found deep inside
    my backpack. Then we headed
    south, driving the gas tank with worry
    down to empty. Never before
    had civilization felt so timely and
    so good. I slept on your shoulder
    in the cheap café. You didn’t try to
    wake me because finally you
    had caught me, calm in your arms.

    1. I love that you're doing this Judy. Wonderful poem!

    2. when I saw that painting, I remembered that perfect lake in the middle of horrible date my boyfriend planned. we were seeking romance, in the logging areas of Northern Quebec...

  8. Albert Bierstadt Among the Sierra Nevada

    deer serenely sip
    under towering terrain
    heavens on fire