Landscape, with a small city in the mind

dog

Landscape, with a small city in the mind

Even when nobody can see what is
Skirting the village lights,

a sleeping dog’s ear may twitch
To death’s threadbare approach.

A vulture pulls stillness out of crosswinds,
Becomes a null sum that is beauty,

An ever adjusting stillness mending
The ugly and the invisible,

Right above the house, whether you
Are looking or not. I have heard the sigh

Of loblolly pines scratching their shorthand
Onto the sky’s white page. Everywhere I see

Words except where words are. The news
Is sheet music for yesterday’s song.

I worry we will all be out of tune
When the clouds flee like an octopus

Leaving night in its tense wake.
And at the edges, a visitor

You have to welcome. You know that
Voice, like the long space at twenty minutes

Past the hour, when it seems the next
Hour will never arrive. Even the church bells are

Weather-stopped. And over the hill
The wind is coming

 

[art by Mary Winifred Hood Schwaner]

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