Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Garden Man

I wrote this poem in response to the sculpture "Garden Man" by Bob Turan at Art in the Orchard. What I love about this piece is how the figure's body becomes whatever is behind him. He's solid yet transparent. He's static, but when something moves in him, he seems to move, too. He's also making an opposite gesture from Mount Tom (seen in the background), which makes him seem to me like another mountain watching over the valley.

The Garden Man

Today a dog and three people
passed through my heart.
The apples were ripe
and they’d come to pick.
They didn’t see me:
I am everything they already know
but I welcomed their motion
in my stasis of green.
I was made to shelter growing things,
not to move them.
And in the sheltering
I become them.
My arms are squash blossoms
and the apple-laden orchard.
My legs are the soil,
my shoulders the mountain.
The blue above is an opposing force
as I lean into the road, the grass.
My head is the sky.
Transparent to the valley, I breathe
green life. Yet even though
my muscles are made of air,
everything with wings
seems beyond my reach.
After sunset
I change completely,
become a bone—
starlight for marrow.
The moon crosses my mind
once in a while.
Fireflies and bats
keep their distance.
What we are made of defines us:
for me more than most.
Usually I’m a lens—a frame—a container.
But today a dog and three people
passed through my heart.
The dog ran, the people gathered fruit.
They didn’t see me
or know me
or need me
and in those moments
I was free.

1 comment:

  1. I love this poem. I was hooked from the first line. The whole feeling of it is dreamy. I can imagine what it might be like to be this statue, to embrace and become the world around me, rather than pitting myself against it, like an ordinary human.