Thursday, June 14, 2018

"Urban Horizon" by James Frederick William Rowe

Urban Horizon
"Hidden Cityscape" Watercolor & Ink on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
James Frederick William Rowe

I almost thought it a forest
So well was the city obscured behind
The layered landscape
Of thick crowns of trees 
Lush with recent rain
Green beneath a sky
Grey but for a blush of peach
That did but slightly heat the cool colour
And colder air
Of the darkened clouds adrift so languid
In a breeze barely perceptible
Yet enough to blow their wispy sails
Across the dawn sky

Poet’s Notes:  I found this poem stuck in my general file of miscellaneous notes, having forgotten to place it in my poetry notes folder. I had written this sometime in the spring of 2017, and though I still have a vivid sense memory of the scene that inspired it, I cannot tell exactly when it happened. 

Nevertheless, after being inspired by the immediate beauty of the scene from my apartment window—and trust me, my view isn't enough to warrant much inspiration usually—I immediately wrote down this poem which required just a few tweaks much later on in order to reach its final form.

Given the simplicity of the structure and content, I haven't much to say about it from an aesthetic standpoint. It captures a moment of beauty on a morning where the light fog and mist of a rainy dawn served to isolate the trees that lined the horizon from the city that usually intrudes behind them. In that moment, Brooklyn lost Manhattan, and the trees became a forest beneath the pale sky. The poem can speak for itself beyond this.

Editor’s Note:  I like this one, quite in the Imagist style, and have had a similar experience myself in Kansas, mistaking the roofs of distant houses for rolling hills and mountains.

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