Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mountain Stream (Ansel Adams)


The stream ran through high mountain pasture
From failing glacier to pool to pond to lake,
Between banks limned with moss and aster
Rooted in cascades of shattered igneous flake.
I straddled the water running slow over stones,
My boots precariously gripping boulders
The water’s rilling shaped into hipbones.
Further up hunched matching shoulders.
I found a head and rolled it in, midstream.
The shallow, muttering water, unperturbed,
Flowed around and on like a vanished dream.
Provoked, I left not a rock undisturbed
And rolled them in -- the addled stream burst
Banks and drowned the mountain pasture’s thirst.

Nessus and Deianeira (Böcklin)


It knows a thing or two, the old painting.
Rather, it knows how to know a thing.
A myth, given enough verisimilitude,
Will make a nymph of a rustic nude.
Only a bared breast betrays the sex
Of a muscled, thick, and ugly torso
And face, a sensory form of Perspex,
Though no woman ever grimaced so.
While not quite conceivably generated,
They are more human, Nessus and Deianeira,
Than all the faces digitized and pixilated
On photographic paper’s white cornea.
The ground lens merely bent and dilated
Light, while here paint fixes the eye on idea.