CALENDULA FIELDS : by Malcolm Kenyon
Lopez Island, Washington
Like a Minoan mural of saffron-pickers
Tangerine-tinted fields ran to a vanishing point at Richardson
A scene of sweating nymphs picking flowers naked (or mostly so)
Stripped to their waists or more (way-more!) on summer days
While the crazy world across the strait made war
Lopezians made ointment.
Singularly out-of-place in Carhartt bibs I repaired their irrigation
Ethically bound by being-paid hourly to concentrate on PVC
And shut-off valves amidst that reenactment of antiquity
Where no one dressed for lunch either figuratively or literally
Gnawing on my meager vegan sandwich I tried to keep eyes
At eye-level chatting with lady friends among the pickers
Like I likewise aspired to do in saunas, topless joints and hot tubs.
All noon-time breaks concluded with skinny-dipping, the entire
Naked crew in unison dived into where I was trying to work
The "sump"— the reservoir, that inviting pond
Where playful splashing demi-deities and all their
Laughing naked kids distracted me from plumbing.