Landscape

23 04 2008

Level upon level of wash and stone
cab drivers yelling that each one, each one’s alone
a forced-up smile when casting your eyes
insanity reigns on streets of no size
high crumbling walls of stones that have seen
the rigors of war and have never been clean
a modern pay turnpike in midst of it all
while an old woman works in a garden with trowel
trees are blooming, I’ve come just in time
purple pink Spring flowers in rebirth pantomime
a miniature red castle in black craggy pass
jig-saw puzzle houses the resultants of mass
the top of a mountain cut off by the mist
and a white serene temple in space does exist
lemon trees, oranges, and cactus alike
the growth of a vineyard with grapes not yet ripe
a truck is forced off as big as a house
while dawdling along like a little green mouse
a long sweeping view expounds my being
and clear restless water with an absence of reef
evolutions and cycles we come face to face
while foliage drifts in green filmy lace
now rough and then coarse soon velvet to touch
octagonal mosaic on a church that is such
and columns of clouds go boiling across
the mountains that stop them and suffer no loss
head reeling cliffs that fall down to sea
while people are sleeping they hang peacefully
but the trucks rolling blindly are waking them up
to talk quietly murmuring over the morning’s first cup
arches and steps are seen everywhere
manmade and Godmade and one made of air
the essence of time is virtually gone
day goes and night comes, I breathe of my lawn
Buona sera buona sera is a faithful reply
from any stranger you pass who catches your eye
and pinpoints of brilliance some moving some still
are caught in the glass on my window sill
the pinpoints I mentioned I don’t speak of stars
but then to think again it’s funny they are
stars made by man who himself is a star
if only he’d realize the powers that are
and all he’s got to do is lay down and play dead
and now looky here Vesuvius looms overhead


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22 03 2009
Shawn Phillips

A favourite of many people. Written in july of 1967 on the cab ride down to Positano, Italy, the first time I ever set foot in that country. Visual perception inspired stream of consciousness lyrics. Actual places do exist and can be seen today.

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