Romance of a Still Life

Lovely pastoral scene emerges in a haze
of earth-tones, umbers and ochres,
in textures of gravel, dirt and weedy grass.
A scatter of porches wrap low shacks,
crumpled like neglected crones;
decrepit over-stuffed sofas, dented
tin-ware, a bottomless chair repeat
in endless patterns.

Barns the size
of wizened old men huddle beside
field stubble: a splash of cad orange
muted by Payne’s gray. Quaint sepia
tractor, its snaggle-toothed tines dusty
with sienna rust, grows from the ground
beneath a frieze of cyan sky.

A film of heat
shades all to impersonal shapes and dabs
of impressionist abstraction, a wash
of broken brushstrokes—until the odor
of manure and pig slop, fanned
by wingbeats of chickens,
raucous rooster calls to a backdrop
of braying hounds renders life
out of art.