Ranchos Church No. 1


Christopher Buckley

The nave billowing
like the arched
backbone of a cloud,
two L-shaped wings
and the way they sidle
up to air -- each dune-
like slope of wall hard
with that dark movement
skirting the evening
mountain's edge as it
persists before the flat
abstraction, the eternal
attrition of that blue.

These forms withstand
the steady re-thinking
of the wind, the old
indifferences of earth.
And somehow this thick
clay supports the heart,
takes us gradually up
level upon level above
the dust, the sky's sand
and streaks of loss.
                            And here,
stepping out one day
we might take our place
just outside the anonymous
flags of clouds, the incidents
of our lives then amounting
to little more than the uneven
but sturdy praise of our hands,
these worn but undiminished
aspirations of line to light.

From Blossoms and Bones by Christopher Buckley, Vanderbilt University Press.
© 1988 Christopher Buckley

Buy LIFEB. - American Artist Georgia O'Keeffe at her Ranch Home, 1966 (silver gelatin photograph) at Art.com
Georgia O'Keeffe at her Ranch Home, 1966 (LIFE)
John Loengard (silver gelatin photograph)
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