As Seen from Provincial Perspectives

by Andrew Hoyem

On a summer morn in southern France,
Toward the end of June when flowers fade
From two months’ brilliance in rising heat,
A guest sits resting, looks out over
Villages, vineyards, hills, mountains,
Seeing birds and insects in a dance:
Bees pull pollen that honey be made;
Swallows swoop arcs, buzzing bugs to eat.
One elder sits, looking out over
An artful garden, with pools, fountains,
Falls, sprinklers spraying soil of Provence,
Dry land for farming grapes. In the shade
Of exotic trees, well watered, is a seat.
An alien sits, looking out over
Follies from foreign places with stains
Of age, stone cut by Mayans, by chance,
By Romans, broken by dolts, afraid
That graven rocks hold power. At their feet
A senior sits, looking out over
Sites of ancient ruins, tracks for trains
To Paris, roads to Rome, in distance.
Quiet, not silent, soft serenade
Is heard afar, cattle low, sheep bleat.
This poet sits, looking out over
An amazing maze; a grotto contains
Seven concrete dwarves in blissful trance;
Just east, a little Japanese glade.
By the chateau, under arbor neat,
Someone sits resting, looks out over
The globe. A crystal orb flashing planes
Revolves in space. All amenities,
Cabinets of curiosities,
Inert artifacts are housed here, while
Outside is nature constrained by style.