Montaña de Oro

Tonight I’m a featured reader at the SLO Plein Air Festival. Come out and see me perform at 7pm at the SLO Museum of Art (1010 Broad Street). Poets were invited to shadow painters while they paint, and I was able to sit in with Debbie Veldkamp as the sun set in Montaña de Oro on Tuesday evening. I took that photo above, too.

In case you miss the reading, here’s the poem I wrote for the occasion:

Montaña de Oro, sunset

for Debbie Veldkamp

Sunset’s bold departure leaves an ocean stage
as the day’s third act comes to an end.
I watch egrets pull the cloud’s curtains closed.

Even as the sunlight goes out,
the orchestra is swelling.
Debbie scribbles with her paintbrush.
She has become a conductor
hastily beckoning the day back.

The Monterey shale stands in a thunderous ovation,
the waves applauding against it’s surface.
The human audience has begun to leave
but Debbie’s too busy discovering a daylight of her own,
every purposeful brushstroke uncovering colors no longer there.

If the shoreline is a body, she’s Dr. Frankenstein,
and she’s building a skeleton of the scene.
The sea scrub is sinew snapping to rock.
The skin is sky slipping from orange to purple,
the ocean pulses through this creature’s veins.

Time passes and she remains stubbornly composing.
Mist and darkness approach,
silhouettes of one wave in front of another.