Ruth Stone

Up There

Belshazzar saw this blue

as he came into the walled garden,

though outside all was yellow

sunlight striking the fractals of sand,

the wind striating the sand in riffles.


Land changes slowly, the fathoms

overhead accruing particles,

reflecting blue or less blue.


Vapor, a transient thing; a dervish

seen rising in a whirl of wind

or brief cloud casting its changing shadow;

though below, the open-mouthed might stand

transfixed by mirage, a visionary oasis.


Nevertheless, this deep upside down

wash, water color, above planted gardens,

tended pomegranates, rouged soles of the feet

of lovers lounging in an open tent;

the hot blue above; the hareem

tethered and restless as the camels.


This quick vision between walls, event,

freak ball, shook jar of vapor,

all those whose eyes were not gouged out,

have looked up and seen within the cowl

this tenuous wavelength.

©1997, Ruth Stone. Published in Prairie Schooner Vol. 71, No.1, Spring 1997.




Ruth Stone



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