A Visit to Manitoga

Regal and inspiring were my initial reactions when I entered Manitoga, the paradise created by Russell Wright, one of the most influential industrial designers of the 20th century.  The elegant structural landscape he meticulously planned and planted is a living painting where a visitor can "step into" to complete the whole picture. 

Upon arriving back home, I wrote the following two poems, "The Gem in the Quarry"and "Where I Stood" both inspired by the visit and photos.

Russell Wright's Home and Studio built on top of the quarry

The beautiful view looking out from kitchen.

The Gem in the Quarry

by Joan Bellofatto Reid

Manitoga, a great spirit oversees days,
seasons, years.
Here it stays
teeming with life, light, longevity.

Fauna, foliage, ferns, burst at the edges of trails.
Beds of moss green, soft and lush kiss the grounds.
Rambling, rough pebbles, rocks, and boulders
together transform a once abandoned quarry to an organic feast.

The sound of the waterfall, the crunch of twigs,
                            the scent of pine, and leaf canopy overhead,
a masterful vision planned and planted
by Russell Wright.

Must have a view, a place to swim, and
a sanctuary for animals and plants.
                           A gift to us to share and give.

* * *

Where I Stood

by Joan Bellofatto Reid

It was just a moment
when a tree took my hand.
Older, wiser, rooted.
Its new leaves were laughing and dancing then.
All bright sun and warm breezes,
soon followed by
pelting rain, turbulent wind, bending and broken limbs.
Tender leaves painfully torn like a ripped cuticle,
while in its somber wake, others held on for
the harvest of deep hues pressed against autumn blue skies.

There will be a gathering.
of  dead brown
when this tree again takes my hand.
It will be just a moment
where I stood.

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