The landscape in Carson, New Mexico

Landscape And Soul

Though we should not speak about the soul,
that is, about things we don’t know,
I’m sure mine sleeps the day long,
waiting to be jolted, even jilted awake,
preferably by joy, but sadness also comes
by surprise, and the soul sings its songs.

And because no one landscape compels me,
except the one that’s always out of reach
(toward which, nightly, I go), I find myself
conjuring Breugel-like peasants cavorting
under a Magritte-like sky – a landscape
the soul, if fully awake, could love as its own.

But the soul is rumored to desire a room,
a chamber, really, in some far away outpost
of the heart. Landscape can be lonely and cold.
Be sweet to me, world.

–Stephen Dunn

I am posting this poem as an homage to my friend Carl Belz who, like Dunn, is a Renaissance man. Both Belz and Dunn played professional basketball as well as excelling as poets, art historians, professors and humanists.

And the sentiments are worthy ones. I’m particularly enjoying this line: “And because no one landscape compels me/except the one that’s always out of reach/(toward which, nightly, I go)”.

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