Monday, February 21, 2011

the staked plains

fog on the staked plains
flatlands red-soiled farmlands
north Texas panhandle
full of days of dry air wind and dust

fog wakes you in gray enclosures
walls wombs and paradise
a millstone tied to the heel of a grackle
and cotton scraps clinging to stalks
months after gin season

who could breathe in this cotton snow
this red-brown dust blown from dry farm fields
feral cats everywhere trying to shelter inside

fog burns off by noon
but it's still hazy in the far distance
where the caprock falls off sudden
as plowed plains give way to desert canyons

up on the table not a single landmark
so stake the soil with scavenged wood markers
a little dip in the flat marks a part-time stream
in the long yellow-grassed draw

perfect geometry of paradox
dry cracked skin bone like river
mudcracks and lawn ornaments
aligned magnetic fields of cliffrock

meadow with cactus grass and pine
trees integrating dry spells with other data
no place for vineyards yet here are
winter dry wines crisp and local

so fog be a blessing a humid touch
clouds be thanked for shade and succor
rain be praised as healing
although you arrive rarely
you arrive in splendor



Blogger Elisabeth said...

Stunning, Art. I'd write more but I'm lucky to find time even to read blogs at the moment. Thank you. It will get better.

3:55 AM  
Blogger Art Durkee said...

Thanks, E. This one was difficult to write, actually. Wrote it once and lost it, then had to start over. Strange circumstances.

8:36 AM  

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