Forms of the Earth at Abiquiu


N. Scott Momaday

for Georgia O'Keeffe

I imagine the time of our meeting
There among the forms of the earth at Abiquiu,
And other times that followed from the one -
An easy conjugation of stories,
And late luncheons of wine and cheese.
All around there were beautiful objects,
Clean and precise in their beauty, like bone.
The skulls of cows and sheep;
And the many smooth stones in the window,
In the flat winter light, were beautiful.
I wanted to feel the sun in the stones -
The ashen, far-flung winter sun -
But this I did not tell you, I believe,
But I believe that after all you knew.
And then, in those days, too,
I made you the gift of a small, brown stone,
And you described it with the tips of your fingers
And knew at once that it was beautiful -
At once, accordingly you knew,
As you knew the forms of the earth at Abiquiu:
That time involves them and they bear away,
Beautiful, various, remote,
In failing light, and in the coming of cold.

From The Gourd Dancer by N. Scott Momaday, Harper & Row.
© 1976 N. Scott Momaday A reading of this poem by its author is available. Do not miss hearing Scott Momaday read!

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Georgia O'Keeffe at her Ranch Home, 1966 (LIFE)
John Loengard (silver gelatin photograph)
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