A flower shower
Turned the tree green
Turned the grass pinker
Than I ever seen:
It yesterday was
When into and out of it
All the bees buzzed.
Then the quick change.
Perhaps it was the breeze:
Petals went packing
To the lawn from the leaves.
Now the Pink Tree Photo
I had taken in my head
The remarkable GROUNDS FOR SCULPTURE is like no place I’ve ever been. Part museum, part botanical gardens, this indoor/outdoor art gallery contains the realistic and abstract, the sublime and ridiculous. As remarkable as the space looked during my visit, I left thinking that I could probably enjoy entirely different experiences of it in the spring, summer, or fall ; in the early morning or by the light of the scattered lampposts and landscape lights. So large and diverse is the installation, that every trip there seems as though it would offer something unique.
On the afternoon I spent at this world class exhibition — tucked into a quiet, central New Jersey town between Trenton and Princeton — the plants on the snow covered landscape were still shivering, but doing so with their leaves turned optimistically toward the sun. The scenes produced by the intersection of the natural and man-made artwork on that Eve of Spring inspired my latest STELLER STORY, readable by clicking on the photo below.
Click the photo above to view scenes from the Grounds for Sculpture.
On the shortest day of the year
The sun takes an extra long lunch,
So long it doesn’t end until
Almost the next day’s brunch.
Head lights and night lights get lots of action
The day of the year that’s shortest.
While that day more than any other is for
golf clubs and lawn mowers the boredest.
It seems like it should be relaxing and yet
There’s always so much around you,
On the year’s shortest day, falling as it does,
Right about when the holidays do.
Still songs like “Oh, What a Night” or “Thank
the Lord for the Nighttime” spread cheer,
Of how happy folks get after early sunset
On the shortest day of the year.
Dad says what we got’s magic snow,
That somehow made our driveway grow,
That somehow made him say words that
He swears he doesn’t really know.
Dad says that each new inch that falls
Lengthens the driveway by ten feet,
That if we left right now, perhaps,
Some time next year we’d reach the street.
Dad says the thing we need most now
Is a summer-style-sun,
To melt some of this magic snow
And make our driveway a walkable one.
Mom says that sounds great but while we wait
A pass with the shovel may be in order.
Dad hears and looks nervous before blurting out,
“But I can’t! Don’t you know? I’m a magic snow hoarder!”
Peter’s senses observed
until his notebooks were full
the heat of July,
the blossoms of April,
October’s colored leaves,
December’s deep freezin’,
yes, Peter wrote poems
about every season.
And he loved all his lines,
from the first to the last,
till that fateful day
in Geography class,
the moment he learned
what happens to weather
when it travels down south
below the equator
where December gets steamy
and July has snowballs,
October pops buds
and April is Fall.
Peter worried his poems
when published abroad
would make him seem like
an unworldly fraud.
But then his frown flipped as
he wrote these introductory words,
“If reading these poems in the southern hemisphere,
please do so upside down and backwards.”
This prologue both cleared Peter’s head
to write more poetry
and proved his failing comprehension