One somber late January day,
while copying a Van Gogh painting
from a calendar --
a farmer in a field near Arles,
the sea in the background --
I began to feel hot sun
beating down on my shoulders,
to hear cicadas singing,
and small rustlings in dry deep grass,
and the ever-present thump of the sea.
Breathing deeply, I smelled sweet farm grass,
and, on the breeze,
the heady scent of salt air and sun-drenched pines.
I saw a sun-dazzled, persimmon-tinted tile roof
and a rosemary-blue door
with a new clarity.
I felt as if hands more adept than mine
were painting the radiant summer day.
A sound distracted me, and
with the THUCK of a suction cup
I was back in the gloomy winter afternoon.
Sometimes if I
stand very still,
close to my
I sense a
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And I hear