merrill gilfillan

calm skies, a moon like sugar in the mouth

For a full day after the kettle of Anasazi beans – creamy white, cumulus whorls of terra red – our heads were startlingly clear, tireless, ranging at ease, happy, the good world cast in cool civil light, magnified in the quietest way: We smelled the chiles roasting miles to the north, heard the cattle far from the town, felt their heat, and long after midnight, giving up on sleep, walked out, under the box elder, tireless: calm skies, a moon like sugar in the mouth. 

~ Merrill Gilfillan, The Good World

“Alfresco writing, following landscape painting, is the art of simply Going-out-to-see, bearing the possibility of raising a poem or paragraph within the day. Its essential pleasure and tireless charge derive from its roots in elemental curiosity and, in the end, the word affinity.

More than once our Sunday drives […] would end up being a daylong low- speed drive of two hundred miles, so seductive was the landscape, so instructive, given the simplest of Givens: the earth, as literal past; the sky/space a sort of implied future; and the Going-out-to-see a present, all informed by the principle that each Day-in-Place is one of a kind, negotiable One Day and One Day Only.”

Merrill Gilfillan, from “Alfresco: The Art of Landscape Writing,” Poetry (December 2013)