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Old House on Route 7

This was the first painting of the old house out Route 7 in Herndon, and is in a private collection.

This painting breaks rules I didn't know
existed. It vees toward me,
as if to lay the blame on me
for space, for what I can contain,
as if I emanated a world in waves
of shadowed green with gold and blue trimming.

It blames me, too, for the clutter,
as if it were my fault that big things
get littler farther off, so that
a horse, a house, an outhouse, old heaps--
all fill finite indifferent bits of space,
depending for significance on my viewpoint,

which cannot easily unstick itself
from the quiet central "O" of polite,
but unyielding tree to take in
anything else, partially because I'm not sure
which way to go to take it all in,

but my reaching to do so squeezes and stretches
the quiet green expanse, and I notice
it is alive with swells and ripples
that flow from golden house to red and gold
rivulet of dead leaves, that every object
in this painting rides that surface
as easily as sleeping gulls ride ocean waves,

that it is satisfying to let the eye graze
over this surface that richly does and does not
retreat from me, like stroking, beside me
in bed, sleek familiar curves of belly and thigh.

Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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