An afternoon on earth

Like petals receiving light,
faces everywhere were turned to the sky.
Easter Island in the sun,
the earth a matrix for personality,
these totems the dreaming of selves
longing for birth,
aboriginal vision drawing me here.

Along the shore, silhouetted on
glittering surf and spray, sand;
chains of human beings clasped hands,
faces looking up, steadfastly scanning
the sky for the wonderful visitor,
the mysterious stranger who will
unite art and science, left and right,
men and women, day and night.

All night they waited, all morning,
burning incense, chanting songs
that have worked elsewhere, for others.
Some rang crystal bells.

At noon, the sun burned their faces.
One woman, who had found the shade
of a tree, was approached by a young man.
“I’m sitting here,” he said, like a question.
They faced each other. They told each other

everything they knew about life.

I saw him touch her.

The air was ripe with honeysuckle,
alive with the sounds of creatures I can’t even name.
Fibers of light twisted, flashed, danced
from one living thing to another.

They made love, facing each other,
up, down, side by side; I saw them.

It was a wonderful afternoon.

Faces everywhere turned their attention
from the sky to each other.

It was my best visit.

Joanna Wiebe

June 6, 1989

Drawing January 1976, by Joanna Wiebe

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