CROPPED Lovett. Rainbow Cattle Co. 21

Back Porch, Twilight

Murray Silverstein

Back porch, twilight, garden on its late-summer binge.
Striders all over the pond. My mother called them Jesus bugs.

They don’t, though, walk so much as land, dimple-&-drift
on water, give it—you can almost hear—a sideways thwack

to launch a sideways hop. Or hump, they hump the water
& drift! Sparks of manic desiring alternate with perfect ease.

You, too, are a body; sink down in the butterfly canvas chair
and watch. Twenty minutes most. Each ripple

cradles a wiggle of vanishing summer light. But first
more mania: into the dying a gnat storm is rising,

a-jitter, like a worried thought: oh dear, oh dear, the day
is ending, but ending inside—wait, wait—the endless day.


Art by Evie Lovett

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Murray Silverstein co-authored the books A PATTERN LANGUAGE and THE OREGON EXPERIMENTAt that time, he taught architecture courses at the University of California, and subsequently taught at the University of Washington. He had also written several articles on pattern languages.

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