“PORTRAIT OF PLACE”, earth, bird wing,ceramic,thread, rock,corn husk, 22×22″




I really like dirt.

I like the word.  It has grit as opposed to “earth” which is good too though it sounds cleaner.

Dirt is dirty.

It smells not like saccharine perfume but  the deep amber oily  droppings of birds and trees and dogs and flowers and rain and snow and sun and fog.

It lay there on the ground all winter with nary a bath; coddling grape hyacinth bulbs and crocus.

Somehow, each year as the sun stretches higher and she lets her hair down in relief

Micro temperature rises tickle the tubers

Of eager daffodils.

They climb out of the dirty dirt

In the hope of catching glinting rainbow light 

Bouncing off the sun’s clean hair.


Everything and everyone gets washed


Our lungs relax and expand into the unarmored ease

Vaguely remembered from a year ago.

Shoulders drop into the sigh of melting stress 

We took on from lack of faith

The Sun would ever warm us again.

The dirt can be seen to move with awakening worms and insects and white roots.

Emma digs her toenails in and with noble effort

Hurls great clods of dirt

Willy nilly.

I wish I could do that.

Maybe roll like  ecstatic porcine  pinkness

In the dirtiest of dirt.

Perhaps tomorrow I will relate to it as “earth”

But today my preference is dirt.


5 Responses to “Dirt”

  1. Rita Kindl Myers on April 5th, 2017

    I like this poem that makes me think of the promise of spring and many other thingsā€¦

  2. Alexis McNaughton on April 5th, 2017

    Beautiful poem Cathy, crisp, clear and dirty! xxoo

  3. Carrie Eckhold on April 5th, 2017

    Wonderful Cathy!! I have a terrible case of Spring fever!
    My dirt still lays under dirty ice but warner temps are just a few days away.
    You captured the beauty of dirt so well.
    I hope you can get your fingers in the earth soon.
    Just to feel the dirt in a pot, warmed by the sun.
    dirty dirt

  4. Dennis Chamberlain on April 8th, 2017

    Wonderfully vivid imagery, Cathy. Glad to see we have a mutual admiration for dirt. I miss the smell of rain and wet dirt. They go together so well, in such a partnership. Here in Corrales we have sand, not dirt. Perhaps a truckload or two of dirt, the real stuff, from somewhere, would give me a tiny haven.

  5. Jann on April 10th, 2017

    Love it love it love it.

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