Landscape in Graphite on Paper, 3x3x3 by Sam Rasnake

1. Clinch Mountain

He always wanted that long drive up Clinch Mountain
where the thick quilts of trees would bend to
hawk in cloud, the road, a hard gash of

stone and time to the wind, with its slow,
steady rumble of tires on asphalt, and far below,
the soft patchworks of farm, river, town – a twist

of the Norfolk Southern and 58, smaller than dream,
smaller than dust. This is my life, he would
say. The arriving – never as good as the going.
                                                                            – 1974

2. Outer Banks

After a night of winter rain, when the morning’s
deep voice of high tide booms the grey sea –
a relentless Bergman film – to wake the heavy, sunless

sky over stiff tangles of jagged shore with only
the occasional pelican or tern in a cold trough
of long wave to follow – and me, beside an

opened upstairs window, my cup steaming on the table –
one hand to the glass, and with the other
I write, “a view as wide as gifted song”…
                                                                           – 1999

3. Yamada Rōshi Says, “Even the sky must be beaten”

A blue without fracture, blue that is lost – like
the song playing – its rhythm of such blue ache
in her fingers’ rub of steel and wood to

darkness. Blue in this pen as I write, blue
on the cover of James Merrill’s Night and Day.
The poet is dead – still his words breathe when

I tongue them aloud in my truck, driving west –
but my truck is red. Everything falls away. I’d
thought the sky to be empty. I was wrong.
                                                                           – 2007

.

Return to This Week’s Flash

16 Comments

Filed under Sam Rasnake

16 responses to “Landscape in Graphite on Paper, 3x3x3 by Sam Rasnake

  1. Oh Sam, I love this, “the thick quilts of trees” in particular. There is such a sense of moving, of flying, of hearing the wind whoosh by. And the last lines of the third segment are just perfect.

  2. All three are just beautiful, and they work so well together. I, too, love the visual of thick quilts of trees–I miss those! Other favorites include: “morning’s deep voice of high tide,” and blue ache/in her fingers’ rub of steel and wood to/darkness.” You hit every sense, and wrap us up in these amazing landscapes.

  3. Oooooohhhhhhhhhh. Breathless……………

  4. len kuntz

    this is stunning, sam. really.
    “bend to hawk in cloud”
    “a blue without fracture”
    “i tongue them aloud in my truck.”

  5. Michelle

    Well, Sam, you already know what I think. I can’t say enough about the power of your poems, and this one in particular strikes me hard in the gut. How you move from the end of the first piece —

    This is my life, he would
    say. The arriving – never as good as the going.

    through those middle images — that gray sea, tangles of jagged shore, the wide view — and into all that rhythm and blue of the sky which is not so empty after all… well, this is a beautiful thing which I am still soaking up after reading and re-reading many times.

  6. John Riley

    What a powerful poem The way you reveal how his perceptions change over the years is brilliant. So many great images and lines–“a twist//of the Norfolk Southern” and “stiff tangles of jagged shore.” I love it that his truck is red. I’ll be reading this more.

  7. This is panoramic. Love it.

  8. an airy gossamer flight this piece has heft alongside its softness..well done sam

  9. Darryl P.

    Beautiful doesn’t begin to describe this wonderful work of art. Excellent river of words and images that gives the more you look it in the eyes.

  10. makes my heart ache & inspires. the author’s note does add to my pleasure, too. The closing image of the red truck driving west under a sky thought empty…most powerful, feels as if it sets me free. like painting by secret numbers that only you can see written in the air.

  11. While reading Clinch Mountain I think I can smell the autumn and the wet road and see the landscape pass by outside.
    Very evocative and dynamic!

    I loved this:
    “He always wanted that long drive up Clinch Mountain
    where the thick quilts of trees would bend to
    hawk in cloud, the road, a hard gash of”

  12. Appreciate every comment here. Thanks for reading.

  13. Lou

    G0rgeous and deep, as always.

  14. Stunning. Simply S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G!

  15. Zoe

    “A blue without fracture”…. I’ll never forget that!

    Deep and truly gorgeous piece!!! Loved reading it…!

  16. Pingback: Week #52 – Threesome | 52|250 A Year of Flash

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s