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Poetry Friday: California Hills in August by Dana Gioia

August 16th, 2019 (06:00 am)
sleepy

Current Mood: sleepy
Current Song: Only Hope by Mandy Moore

I can imagine someone who found
these fields unbearable, who climbed
the hillside in the heat, cursing the dust,
cracking the brittle weeds underfoot,
wishing a few more trees for shade.

An Easterner especially, who would scorn
the meagerness of summer, the dry
twisted shapes of black elm,
scrub oak, and chaparral, a landscape
August has already drained of green.

One who would hurry over the clinging
thistle, foxtail, golden poppy,
knowing everything was just a weed,
unable to conceive that these trees
and sparse brown bushes were alive.

And hate the bright stillness of the noon
without wind, without motion,
the only other living thing
a hawk, hungry for prey, suspended
in the blinding, sunlit blue.

And yet how gentle it seems to someone
raised in a landscape short of rain -
the skyline of a hill broken by no more
trees than one can count, the grass,
the empty sky, the wish for water.

- California Hills in August by Dana Gioia

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Comments

Posted by: Carol Varsalona (cvarsalona)
Posted at: August 16th, 2019 01:48 am (UTC)
Poetry Friday

Thank you for presenting a different view of landscapes: "a landscape
August has already drained of green." - CVarsalona

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 16th, 2019 01:58 am (UTC)
Re: Poetry Friday

Boggles my mind that it is already mid-August!

Posted by: cheriee weichel (cheriee weichel)
Posted at: August 16th, 2019 08:17 pm (UTC)

I grew up in semi desert. It took me a long time to get used to the thick bush and deep greens of the rain forest where I now live. Those brown empty seeming hills are still the landscape of my heart though.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 16th, 2019 08:59 pm (UTC)

I hope you enjoyed living in different places!

Posted by: mlyearofreading (mlyearofreading)
Posted at: August 18th, 2019 11:16 am (UTC)

Oh, how I love this! I was "raised in a landscape short of rain" and that is the landscape that speaks most directly to my heart!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: August 18th, 2019 02:51 pm (UTC)

I love how different people react to different landscapes/environments!

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