Ardell Nelson (2008 Artist-in-Residence) Poems

A photograph shows the end of a rocky peninsula surrounded by a bold blue lake with small islands in the far distance
Arrive at Scoville Point

Photo by Ardell Nelson, used with permission

Two full days of travel
to arrive at Scoville Point
Oh my
Oh God
those who live
at the ends of the world
stand in awe.

_______


Nature rejoices
a constant
daily, seasonal, millennial
prayer.

_______

 
A photograph taken on the shoreline of a shining blue lake, the top of a large coniferous tree frames the right hand side of the photo
Moose Spectacular Morning

Photo by Ardell Nelson, used with permission

Grey ominous sky has cut loose
stack of wood by the fireplace
rain pelts on the windows
thunder rolls through
the bedrock
and shudders my feet.

_______


The moose hoofs on shallow soil
were not in a hurry
this still, still morning
passed by my window
to the cliff edge with viewing bench
the moose stood gazing
at this spectacular morning.

_______

 
A photograph shows an abstract view of the surface of the water. You can see through down to lighter rocks beneath
Rhythm of Lapping Waves

Photo by Ardell Nelson, used with permission

Today I hear birds singing
across Tobin Harbor from Smith Island
rhythm of lapping waves
adds quiet percussion
breeze through the trees
a soft violin.

_______


Head-on
we met on a trail
too close to hide
a red fox and I
looked each other in the eyes
dark brown and blue
“Hello, aren’t you pretty” I spoke
around me it went
stopped, turned to look again
I had no camera – just as well.

_______


Follow the rise of the terra firma
scan the Superior horizon
keep sight on the sky
the clouds tell us
the weather is always
changing.

_______

 
A photograph shows the inside of a wood cabin with six small paintings sitting on chairs leaning against the backs of them. Sunlight blasts through the windows
Every Hue

Photo inside Dassler Cabin by Ardell Nelson, used with permission

Phthalo, Prussian, Ultramarine
and every hue in between
not enough blues
for Superior water and sky
my greens seem inadequate
my violets all wrong for shadows
forget the rocks (at least for now)
no desire for dull brown.

_______


Wild, wilderness in slow motion
dense growth & decay
the loon’s mournful evensong
reminds us of rest
“take it easy” the otter displays.

Yet, an undercurrent, nagging thought
look over your shoulder
for what lurks behind
a howl
a predator
a hunger to be satisfied.
There are wolves in the shadows.

_______

 
A photograph shows a small moose standing in water looking back at the camera. Vegetation surrounds the small body of water the moose is in
Hidden Lake

Photo by Ardell Nelson, used with permission

To Hidden Lake, I have been
on the way to Look-out Louise
carrying a burden on my back
on the return
lighter and exultant
I saw the moose
neck deep in water.

2nd visit: I came with pastels
settled at water’s edge
focused four hours
I drew with only one distraction
an otter’s head
the only tell tale of the diagonal line
dividing the lake.

3rd visit:
I went hoping to recapture
but as it was, it was a struggle
wrestled with ideas
swatted mosquitoes
jerked the pastels
eventually
scared off by a snake.

4th visit: By now I had a companion
and thought like a guide, "You must see"
as we hiked, he bounced and spun
jumped from rock to rock
louder than a moose foraging for food
shhhhh…..
only two-legged creatures did we see.

_______

Please,
Let me stay awhile longer . . .

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Last updated: December 18, 2019

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