Red Hills and Bones
(by Laura Kasischke)
Where there are no flowers, everything
becomes a flower.
Without water, everything turns to water --
are red water stirred by a hand, and will
always be. Bright light in dull bones.
of a spine
in the desert.
You can climb
to the world you want. You can paint
the world you see.
(from Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art by Jan Greenberg, p. 37)
- Georgia O'Keeffe began spending summers in New Mexico in 1929, and over the course of the next six decades she turned her brush to the richly colored scenery of the American Southwest. Here, red hills fill the canvas from edge to edge, while the bleached bones in the foreground reflect the hot, dry climate of the region. Like many of O'Keeffe's landscapes, this painting represents a location near her house, Ghost Ranch, distilled to poetic, abstracted shapes that reflect the monumentality she finds in even the simplest natural forms.