Story, Value, and Becoming More Real
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Monet’s Magpie ~ Etretat, 1868

December 1, 2021

Leslie Bustard


Snow is falling from the night

sky, like dust escaping from

a nebula above, leaving

all Etretat covered

paper-white, from

the farmer’s land to

the wide pale-pearled horizon.


The old long roof and

the boundary wall’s slate

stones bear the layered weight.


Early morning light

will tickle the trees’ skeletal branches,

and noon will see blue-grey shadows

stretch across the ground.


A small, solitary magpie perches on the gate,

alert to what the day has offered—

as if there is no need

to fill the air with worry or chatter.

The Magpie by Claude Monet Oil on Canvas, 35in X 51 in

Musee d’Orsay 1868-1869

Painted during the winter near the commune of Etretat near Normandy.


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  1. Sam Keyes says:

    I love this poem Leslie. Lovely economy and so evocative.

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