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Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz, 1918 (Wikipedia)



If I paint Ghost Ranch enough, then God

will give it to me.  Well, that was the pact.

I loved The Black Place; those brooding Badlands

and that sun with its tonal harmony.

I strove to get to the heart of all things,

for, as Thoreau once said, Nature will bear

the closest inspection.  So, I observed:

repeatedly, intensely, like Cezanne,

with his ever-changing Mont St Victoire.

I would portray Death’s bleached beauty; a cloud;

Bear Lake; Canna leaves; winter Cottonwoods;

a blue Morning Glory; arroyas’ curves.

I would prick out river beds from airplanes –

some would say from a divine perspective.

My adobe wall shut distractions out.

Every day I would draw cool well water

from my own depths; would mix it with pigment,

till horizons narrowed through declining

vision.  Cerro Pedernel retreated

and my skylight became a small white dot,

an oculus to stars’ proximity.