V  P  R

Contemporary Poetry and Poetics




          (Viewing Frank Dudley's Dunes Paintings)

Frank Dudley, child of deaf mutes, you learned 
to see your parents' sound-waves—their hands 
gesticulating, eyebrows arching, jaws tensing. 

As an artist, you tried to read Creation's gestures, 
seeking Eden east of Chicago.  You came not 
just to play in Northwest Indiana's sandbox— 

you lived your lakeshore summers in Cottage 108. 
Your eyes caught the wave of wind on marram, 
the signing of shadow on silica.  Your ears got 

the singing of waves onshore.  Glaciers had never 
retreated—the warm merely melted them down, 
out of sight, leaving a living legacy of lakeshore. 

There you watched the face of Lake Michigan 
flirting with light.  You heard the siren wind 
luring the traveling dunes, sighing on their sands. 

Thanks for paying the State of Indiana cottage rent 
of "one large oil painting per year."  Thanks 
for mining fragile Hoosier sands only for inspiration.

© by Bernhard Hillila


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