Vale of Esk

         a haibun after Daniel P.M. Fox’s series of paintings,                                Tomorrow You, Tomorrow Me


Brian A. Salmons





Have you watched a plant breathe.  Have you seen a plant’s nightmare apropos air pollution, seen guilt for the heinous crime when it woke.  Have you seen the river tuck the soil into bed.  Have you counted how long that dusk is.  Have you noticed that you’ve never seen the soil wake.  Have you doubt that it does.  Have you seen a mountain undress.  Have you realized that it doesn’t tease, that it’s a beautiful, endless funeral.  Have you see a mountain blush in the sunset.  (Of course you have?)  Have you taken in plate tectonics while picnicking.  Have you drifted with a continent.  (Which one and does it still exist.)  Have you changed.  Have you tried.  Have you permanence in small time, flux in expanse, remains in living, being in ghost, entrained in time, settled in water, broken down to building blocks.  Have you sequestered carbon in susurration, in thousands of small flappings, the music of leaves, the whispering older sister of the plica vocalis.  You know this topography? 


I am flying over a landscape?  (Who is.)  That is a mountain?  This is the sun rising outside my window?  (Whose window.)  The water glinting, a diffuse glow, a taut metal bedsheet left cold and quiet by an army, silver sedge, swaying as one?  Low hills wrestle for the most liminal place forever with names like Viminal, Quirinal, never joining?  A fluvial cut, like the unbending path of an arrow, washes the senates out in exhausted ribbons?  The quorum is strewn across the valley, beyond call?  What is this called. 


Stand around this Vale,

hold it in hollow hands, call

it home. Call this soil.









Brian A. Salmons lives in Orlando, Florida.  His work has appeared in Eyedrum Periodically, NonBinary Review, Ekphrastic Review, Poets Reading the News, The Light Ekphrastic and Poetry WTF?!, among others.  He is the host of @BrianAndTheNight, a poetry podcast on Facebook.