Three poems about gravity

#gravedad | poesía | William Bain

Summer evening landscape, Lleida-Camp de Tarragona

as the train speeds up,

grass and hay fields, some

in dun stubble, some green as Ireland;

old blacktop roads,

knolls in the distance like

barrows wild cane,

reeds, umbrella pines,

canals, and well tended

kitchen gardens or orchards;

eroded railway ditch walls and

stacks of lumber beside

a solar panel company

cumulus cloud shapes—champagne

corks or chariot dragons—

then the pine-covered hills

with their cultivated plots

in a dip of plain—olive trees, maize,

fruit trees, wheat—a desire to fly

Greenbank: They’ve cleared some of the brush

The crowns of the trees fill the train window,

trees with the heavy and rounded rain clouds.

With but I mean not removable from

birch, ilex, hornbeam, lime and oak.

Then a swell of willow, crack willow or white willow,

a river bordered by crack willow.

Greenbank: They’ve cleared some of the brush

from the railway berm.

Fresh clean cut of the sapling stumps.

As the train lurches forward—stubble fields,

hedges, an uncut field of wheat.

A white farm building stands out against the green.

Vilanova i la Geltrú

But well as the four of us know each other by now they weren’t with us in New York that summer, or any of those places we hit alone in love. You have to consider that before we went into the restaurant we sat over drinks at that heavy table in the place they’re staying at. You looked different. I was also entranced by the way a dark shadow traced a curve over the parched clay throw of that amphora style vase on the terrace of the place they’re staying. The softer traces in the shade there at the table played across all of our faces, making you look different and seriously joyful, like that time I took that picture of you sitting in the window of the hotel and a childhood friend of yours said it was a look (mirada) she’d never seen. I felt a certain not pride exactly but verging on that and that we were different, new still to each other, not in a style although there is always something of that, but vases just as they were being. Then after the meal we went down the beach a ways and lay on scarves and towels on the hot sand. ¡ When I woke up you were handling the camera so confidently, maybe not as differently as you’d looked on the terrace but in comparison with my clumsy shots as if you were not just the lens but the whole book. Later, after too much sun at least in my case, we had tea at their place and I saw, behind you, the different slant of the shadow still running down but now somewhat more across the sunbaked clay.

An hour later,

on the train home, your face

in the window on the sea.

William Bain
Some of Wlliam Bain’s visual artwork and witten texts have been published online or on paper in Abstract|Ext, Barcelona Ink, On-Barcelona, Ferbero, la, Red River Review, and Zone, among others.

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