Snow on boughs; a blizzard—these are what
we must perceive, what every simple mind
must see in any layering of white
on gray; and now the work is all behind
the painted surface: deep into the walls,
a scene that grows for miles, invisible
with evergreens enswirled in winter falls
of spinning, weighted white—and audible
in that strange way of snow-thick atmosphere,
as if it seals the world, creates a shift
in pressure and a humming in the ear,
or absence of a humming, or as if
some chemistry precipitates all sound,
and brings it falling silent to the ground.
_______Sono Osato, Munen Muso, detail (see her gallery here)
This poem first appeared in West Wind Review, number 23, 2004, as part of a suite of poems titled Abstracts, on some paintings in a room, inspired by Sono Osato’s work.