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Art Inspired Poetry by Doug Woody Woodsum

HomeWatercolor Gallery IWatercolor Gallery IIBelgrade Lakes WatercolorMore Maine WatercolorThe Lawns of LobstermenChristmas CardsIntaglio, Linocuts & MorePoetry by Doug Woody WoodsumAbout the ArtistPricing & AvailabilityPayment & ShippingLink to Etsy StorefrontContact Information

The watercolor painting that inspired Misplaced Landscapes with Sandhill Cranes can be found in Watercolor Gallery I, titled SandHill Cranes at Sunset.

Misplaced Landscape With Sandhill Cranes


Out of place, like a cyclist on a winter road

at dusk, two cranes bend then straighten their bony legs

stepping over rows of thick brown stalks, frosted stubble:

a chopped corn field touched with snow. Beside them, a flooded

ditch, iced-over; so they eat gleaned corn, a deer mouse,

and a lost half-frozen woolly bear.


The farmlands stretch for miles, but the cattle have been called in.

Only the cranes, dusky in this light, graze. I’m used to Currier

And Ives landscapes with stocky turkeys emerging

from the woods to scratch and peck a living under

the old apple trees. In these parts, meandering turkey flocks

sometimes hold up traffic on the rural highways.


But these cranes are far from the road, easy

to miss, despite being tall as the surrounding fence posts.

Svelte and large-framed, they’re graceful for all their angles and bones.

Yes, graceful, because when I stop pedaling to be part

of the spare brushstrokes of this oriental winter scene,

the cranes take off, taking the whole world away with them.


With ease, their legs bend then straighten; their wings gesture across

the landscape of fields, darkening woods and outbuildings. They take off

as the sun takes light at dusk, as a brush runs out of paint.


                                                                       by Doug Woody Woodsum