Mas El Solanot

When you invited me to Mas El Solanot,
with its hydrangeas, hibiscus, vines,
you did not say that in the afternoon,
as light collected, pensive, in a haze
beyond the apple trees and fields of hay,
my eyes could go from fold to fold, along
the blue conceptions of the Pyrenees
until they turn to clouds, nor how the cliffs

of Castelfollit de la Roca hold
the houses on their shoulders, balancing
ideas of artefact and world—and how
the arches of the bridge at Besalú
dissolve against the evening sun, then form
again from shadows on the other side,
in Romanesque relief. And later, when
we had commended the paella, praised

your Catalan rosé, the darkness brought
the music of Albéniz, gathering
the high chromatic landscapes into sound;
And on an old Chilean disk we heard
Neruda in inimitable voice
declaim the soul of Machu Picchu, name
its stones, its hunger and its misery—
the glorious, enduring suffering

of man. I leaned over the window, felt
a stillness in the wind, the stirring rock,
as if the earth acknowledged our design.
You wove me in, a figure in your scene,
a word among your words. The evidence
is places in the mind—the painted mas
surprising me, the harmonies of line,
the mountains soughing in their leafy dream.

From Places in Mind, Catharine Savage Brosman, LSU Press © 2000. Used with the permission of the author.