Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Joan E. Bauer: Arcosanti

for Paul Kaplow                                                                                    
 
 
A dusty paint cloth of rust and ochre, 
the desert before us as we pass shark fins 
of agave & prickly-ribbed saguaro.  
 
At Cordes Junction, down a rutted road
in your chrome Buick, looking for Arcosanti.
I remember the loose-leaf of your black hair, 
 
your nails chewed down, a habit you couldn’t break.  
Behind a sardonic smile, you were a believer,
hungry for the sublime edge of knowing. 
 
I was a skeptic, pretending a smile, while coldly
reckoning how soon all this optimism in concrete
would be riprap on a cluttered planet.
 
We found Soleri among the disciples: 
a hair shirt left on the line. As we cast the silt, 
he spoke:  frugality  connectedness

In a downpour we drove past bristle brush, 
armadillos to the City of Angels, bearing
a bronze wind bell of sea-green patina. 
 
The agave, burnt yellow in the sun, roots deep. 
Soleri endured, crowned with a nimbus of hair, 
his dream no closer. For though we speak 
 
of biosphere, of resources sustainable 
(you knew this, didn’t you?)  we want—
we want—the ranch house, the half-acre,
with an unobstructed view of mountains.

Copyright 2020 Joan E. Bauer. A version of this poem was previously published in Italian Americana.

Agave

2 comments on “Joan E. Bauer: Arcosanti

  1. Frederick C Shaw II
    October 3, 2020

    Nice language in this poem. great work on an interesting topic.-

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Barbara Huntington
    October 3, 2020

    There’s the rub. We want.

    Liked by 2 people

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This entry was posted on October 3, 2020 by in Environmentalism, Poetry and tagged , , , , , , , .

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