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From Our South Window
Grace Hughes Chappell


some say it's the water here
we drink, or the last gold-rush
flakes glinting, in the air, or
because we are the human remains
our continent's emptied here—no farther
at the ocean's edge
run out of land;

some say it's the gods' favor, the Pacific Ocean,
its windy assiduous whisk broom; some say
it's July, August fog dampening
dampening, flattening us to our knees,
only in praise to rise up
for the light!

—but where are our words?
where is a painter of this moment
in the western sundown that turns our backyards,
our house walls
gold; where's a paint tube labeled 'infinity,'
gold the roofs, gold
the Monterey pines, the Muni bus, gold
the bedroom windows burning? where
hosannas for sinners and saints equal
in this evening, where a dance, a song
in memoriam?

© by Grace Hughes Chappell.
Used with the author's permission.




Grace Hughes Chappell says, over the years, she’s been a mom, a daughter, and a sister, has taken care of ‘things’ (house repairs, car repairs, relationship repairs), worked as a private tutor, an English teacher, a travel agent, a receptionist, a telephone book delivery-person, a house cleaner, a reader to the visually impaired, a caterer, a snow-shoveler, and a writer. Her work is widely published and she is the author of ten mile creek almanac. For 50-some years, Grace and her husband, Don, have lived in northern California, in Mendocino County, and in San Francisco but, as of 2024, they have relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to be near family. Grace's advice for a good life is to be kind, enjoy your family and friends, don’t be a drag (laugh a lot, sing, dance, do anything
that involves music), read a lot, learn to cook a decent meal, watch sunsets and birds and dogs, find something to do for which you have some aptitude, then be willing to work hard at it!

Post New Comment:
So beautiful--describing images worthy of painting!
Posted 06/10/2019 12:13 PM
Beautiful imagery. Wonderful metaphors. Thank you Grace!
Posted 06/09/2019 06:03 PM
Lori Levy:
Love all the gold, like a painting.
Posted 06/09/2019 01:50 AM

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