The View from Mountain Station

Sean Arthur Joyce

For John Cooper

A child’s landscape—brilliant
and alive in every respect—
softly breathing flames of colour
in the grass, poplar’s sunfoil
teasing the breeze. Broody snout
of elephant, dozing like a bathing toe
in a crinkle of the lake,
waves winking a million stars.

Many a mind, John, has spun
a more mechanical turn of phrase,
a more eviscerating argument,
but few look with eyes so open,
so raw and willing
to enter the gift of this landscape
and see with the heart whole.

Your brushes peel back for us
the beating velvet hide of a giant—smiling
to be seen at last for what she is.
Your portal eye transcends us
to realms where light never tires
and colour is liquid, moving
and eternal.


Author's Note: the poem is a tribute as much to the artist who inspired it, John Cooper, as it is to the place about which it was written, Mountain Station in Nelson, BC Canada.

Learn more about Kooteney artist, John Cooper.

—from the collection Star Seeds
2009 New Orphic Publishers, Nelson, BC Canada

Nelson sits on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake, nestled in the rugged Selkirk Mountains of southeastern British Columbia, Canada. Known as "The Queen City" it has 350 impressively restored heritage buildings from its glory days of the silver rush.

Learn more about Sean Arthur Joyce at his website: