Our blotting paper landscapes have absorbed
whatever's touched them
come their way
secretions of old men
the careless spills
that put the known at risk
to paint the lily with a poisoned brush of heavy solvents
pigments of cadmium cobalt
dyes ground with turpentine
or something laced with mercury.
If I could take a sheet of blotting paper to the hills
and mop them up
and frame the end result
you might well call it innovative
and be right,
whose would the innovation be?
Not mine, I think.
At some point we
might look again
at what the paper caught
no more a landscape than the patches on a wall
a growth of moss
but of a landscape, of
a landscape from another world
a landscape yet-to-be.
And if the hill
the oak tree and the dandelion
still turn a smiling face to us
what does that say
of misgrowth deep inside
and ghosts to haunt our great grandchildren's lives?
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