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Winter Meadow, Reston, back when the philosophy favored reforestation.Winter Meadow, Reston

"All right, hold it right there!"
A cordon of winter trees, horrid
in anti-riot gear, halts
a mob of clouds and houses--WATCH OUT
ON THE LEFT!--to give the torn
muddy sky-stained meadow time
to recover.

Dean Blehert

Dean wrote a second, longer poem about this.
Since it's a large painting, 36 x 48, that's appropriate!

Winter Meadow, Reston

Warmish mid-winter, world red-tinged
with a low-grade fever, slatey scrapes
of foreground thaw, then peering over
red and purple haze of meadow, hulks
of weathered houses, dimly luminous
with the leaving light of late short
afternoon (or is it raw morning light?)
catching their purple shingles aslant.
The seasons have been a disaster
for these houses, all agape with darkness,
just a vestige of pale blue light
in two rear windows (or are these new homes,
raw, unfinished?). Trees gather round,
bare and gesticulating, like neighbors
roused from bed by a fire (conflagration
of spring, summer, autumn, winter),
bleary-eyed, unshaven or hair prickly
with curlers, wrapped in the first
coarse colors they could throw on,
cold, clutching themselves, glad of company,
as sharply delineated in the winter light
as our too detailed mirrored morning faces,
chatting among themselves about how they
knew these houses when they were part
of the forest (but, upper left, a swirly
chaos of hinted branches haunts the eye
and demolishes my metaphor, no chatting
neighbors here, but the essence of interlacing
tree shadows swaying in the corner of a child's
half-waking, heavy-lidded vision, imbuing daylight
with inexpressible consolation, a sharing
of life in the deep sky among forms
as diverse as a child's face and gnarled
branches; a consolation, too, to wake
from tangles of writhing dreams to the gentle
tapping of tree limb at the pane.)
Nearer the eye the meadow celebrates
winter sun. (No disaster for the kids:
They romp among elders who gently bend,
admonishing.) And what is that blue-grey
black-nailed finger protruding from the sod,
lower left of center--a concrete boundary
marker? Once the eye stumbles on it,
it lingers. (Who gives us the frozen finger?)
It seems to watch the watchers.
Here each thing is as alive as it can fill
with light, which yearns to fill even
those ragged black windows. And right before
our eyes surges up dolphin-like a mound of green.
Too many metaphors. The monotony of early January
bursts into freckled splendor when, like light,
you begin to touch each thing, each marking the eye
as rough sun-reddened bark marks the leaning palm.

Dean Blehert


Last Updated: October 6, 2002

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