The Wisdom of Others
Concerning Home

"Where Thou art – that – is Home."

~~ Emily Dickinson (1863)

"Everyone has, I think, in some quiet corner of his mind, an ideal home waiting to become a reality."

~~ Paige Rense (1984)

"Property Rights"

Absentminded flips through canvases
at the sidewalk sale offer little
beyond Gauguin- and Matisse-like
reproductions selling by the pound
like flounder at the fishmonger’s.

Pitiful imitations of the masters.
Slightly raw, left to rot unnoticed,
a bunch of half-eaten halibuts
flopping in the back of the fridge.

I stumble upon a canvas
unlike all the others. Finely crafted,
labored over laboriously; no detail left
uncooked, brush strokes meld to linen.

The view is from a chalk-colored villa
set on a crevice in the cliffs.
White sails bob in the inlet below;
black hibiscus blooms in every bowl.
The sea, a hue that hasn’t been born yet.

A single patio chair lounges
naked, turning tan; the crystal glass
of Beaujolais begs the sapphire sky
to take a dip, tint its liquid purple as a plum.

“This is where I’m from.”
“I thought you were born in New Jersey?
That definitely ain’t New Jersey,”

you rudely remind me.

I prop the canvas upright on the cement,
step inside, strip off my clothing,
pick up my glass of wine.
Drink the whole of it deeply,
inhale the harbor of where I’m from.

© 2000 MJM


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