A Choice of Sight
You walk to the center of the quarry and sit.
your eyes survey the autumn fire,
the glorious death of green for another season.
Clear-eyed, you can see each leaf,
sometimes bright, sometimes browning at the edges.
Winter is nigh.
Across the canyon, a small white house breaks the beauty.
Its paint is chipped and peeling.
You can see its decay from here.
You can see the slate shingles, broken and leaking.
You can see the sadness in the roof, sagging, almost broken.
There are coyotes far in the hills, a distant danger,
crying in the early morning,
their last calls before they settle for the day
The wildflowers are done. Dead stalks cover the ground,
their once green leaves brittle spikes. their seeds spread
like stones, hibernating for a season.
It is not exactly beautiful, this vista.
It is a mix of the sublime and the harsh reality
of poverty and death.
It is the place you live, day in and day out,
but today you choose
how to see.
You squint and see nothing but color.
Yellows and oranges in bright washes,
an oil painting by Monet,
rejecting the dark spaces
just long enough
to find peace.
About this Poem
We choose what we see. Stark and harsh. Gentle and redeeming. It is all there.
Most of the time, I choose to see the beauty. It is not blindness. It is simply a choice.
The picture today was a photography of the quarry across the road from my home, modified by software. Those of you who have visited me there will likely recognize the spot.