Pamela J. Polley

Spiritland, Images of the American Midwest

Devil’s Backbone, 24 x 42 inchesDevil’s Backbone, 60cm x 105cm

Spiritman, 24 x 42 inchesSpiritman, 60cm x 105cm

Fission Stream, 24 x 42 inchesFission Stream, 60cm x 105cm

Bygone, 24 x 42 inchesBygone, 60cm x 105cm

Blue Bridge, 24 x 72 inchesBlue Bridge, 60cm x 180cm

Black Tree, 24 x 72 inchesBlack Tree, 60cm x 180cm

Red Water, 24 x 72 inchesRed Water, 60cm x 180cm

Soul Canyon, 24 x 72 inchesSoul Canyon, 60cm x 180cm

Spirit Voices, 24 x 72 inchesSpirit Voices, 60cm x 180cm

Spiritland: Images of the American Midwest

I. Yen

Sunny Midi memories:

Ochre washed walls, navy blue Med

Lavenderthyme in my nose & mouth

Moved by Monet in Chicago

The color, the light, the South of France

Brought tears of loss & joy to my eyes

Back, always back to the Midwest

Stripmalls, embarrassing atolls in their seas of grey asphalt

Outside, the breadbasket of America looms large

Dull grey landscape between notorious coasts

This is me, this is what I’m left with

Daughter of the Plains, plain Jane

No sunflowers, medieval villages, renowned light

By which to paint.

II. Ken

First, a slow dawn in late summer afternoon:

I-65 blues transformed by long gold rays, turning

Cornfields into rows of fire, shimmering soybeans

Into Emerald City geometry. Treelines beckoned

Blue-green and mysterious, anchoring apricot clouds;

Diminutive dinosaurs they call Blue Herons pierced

Wisconsin wetlandsilence under an aqua-bowl sky.

This was my transformation/salvation: landscape

Shaking me alive to a beauty, primeval, ageless,

Existing quiet all alongside shopping centers, interstates

Hidden even, in the rolling boredom of Southcentral Ohio

Chiaroscuro cliffs revered by former races now revealing

Spirituality to me like a great womp over the head, like

Interrogation lamps after dark silence.

But deliberate, stronger now it works its magic:

Looking up into the mystery of my grey Midwestern sky

I see dizzydance snowflakes & omen-black swaths of

Migratory birds; like them, I find myself lifted on ancient air streams;

In my sticky summer rivervalley, Payne’s thunderclouds release

Cool sheets of silver I wrap around myself after a long draught.

I look through my rainwashed prism, colors crystallize, come alive

My magic is here; I’ve found my home.

Pamela J. Polley, 1/98