background image
away from the road 19
three studies from two days
The Upper North Fork, Matilija, 1986
1. late in the day
Part of the thin shadow
of a weed stem
Cutting the trail solidifi ed
into a lizard
And ran away, still
2. photographing an uncommon wildflower
Now it's been found.
Shapely and fresh dark blue,
Fine-stemmed, neat-leaved,
On the baked-white ground --
A subject, magnifi ed, swaying there
In its prime,
A foot away,
cult still
To catch, on this dry, stony, steep hill
(That would kill
Its garden cousins in no time).
You lean, shaken with late-in-the-day
Fatigue, and with one knee
Wedged between rocks, one eye
At the eye-piece, water-blurred
By the hot breeze,
The other shut tight, by
Sweat and two crawling fl ies
Whose cohorts whirl above --
You'll wait till it holds still ...