Sunday, April 24, 2016

landscapes~owned & lost

From today's library stroll
There are landscapes one can own,
bright rooms which look out to the sea,
tall houses where beyond the window
day after day the same dark river
turns slowly through the hills, and there
are homesteads perched on mountaintops
whose cool white caps outlast the spring.
And there are other places which,
although we did not stay for long,
stick in the mind and call us back—
a valley visited one spring
where walking through an apple orchard
we breathed its blossom with the air.
Return seems like a sacrament.
Then there are landscapes one has lost—
the brown hills circling a wide bay
I watched each afternoon one summer
talking to friends who now are dead.
I like to think I could go back again
and stand out on the balcony,
dizzy with a sense of déjà vu.
But coming up these steps to you
at just that moment when the moon,
magnificently full and bright
behind the lattice-work of clouds,
seems almost set upon the rooftops
it illuminates, how shall I
ever summon it again?

"Places to Return" by Dana Gioia from The Gods of Winter. © Graywolf Press, 1991

Even the utility wires are into this Spring thing.


  1. THAT I want to do someday; plant morning glories and run them up a telephone pole. May as well soften the utilitarian look of the world.

    1. It's gorgeous & directly across the street from our charming old brick firehouse.