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Olivia Painting, Little Falls Creek

The painter (bright blue figure, vertical, central)
emerges immediately, and around her
gradually to our groping gaze
tree trunks, clumps of foliage,
flitting angels of filtered sunlight,
sloping earth, rocks and stream
(the merest squint of streamness)
come into being--come

and go, for no mere vision
can hold them. I have looked long
(eyes unmoving, letting peripheral vision
betray itself by motions) at a forest
until it dissolved into a welter of rhythmic forms
twinkling in and out of being.

Here the twinkling of form becomes anew
a forest, leaning in from all sides
over the blue figure, as if to sneak a glance
at how she's portraying it ("Shoo!
I'm not finished yet!")--

or perhaps bent over her in vaulted
cathedral arches by the tug
of the painter's centering vision.

Here is neither forest nor painted forest,
but the process by which a forest
gets itself painted, how the young hopeful
imposes itself upon the attention
of the star-making painter

and becomes itself newly in the held eye,
how eye teaches hand fluid certainty
of motion amid chaos,
how hand's darting strokes
teach our eyes their motion,
how our own eyes,

feeding us forms faster than we can enfold them
in familiarity, teach us to extend ourselves
(knowing nothing can be missed, no form lost
to the creator of form) to a simple stillness
wherein the intricate eye is free to dance.

Dean Blehert

Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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