Today's poem is by Philip Gross

Ghost Ranch: Georgia O'Keefe

How far can you get
from the attics, ateliers, insect buzz
and shove of openings, private views?

Here, there's nothing but studio,
inside, outside. Nothing.
                                   But this face

with its hardening angles,
bank-clerk's hair, has grown mannish
as a frontier woman's. How far

can you get from iris throats,
swallow-you-in-one gulp mauves,
from night blacks, pollen sulphurs

that enfold you like a child
in mother's wardrobe? And why
should it come as a surprise

if bare rock opens for her
like a flower, giving up colours
like scents to the sun — not like boom-

and-bust-in-one-day desert flora
but slowly, hard come by, the bloom
of the whole West? Oh, spare me

the poetry, her eyes say. Look
till you are what you look at:
                         Going blind

as if from too much sun glare
those eyes narrow on some distance
I can't grasp. I haven't got that far.

Copyright © 2003 Philip Gross All rights reserved
from Mappa Mundi
Bloodaxe Books / Dufour Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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