Linda Scheller

Toward Permanence

Julia Morgan (1872-1957)

Beauty is mathematical. 
Nature’s aesthetics—symmetry,
Pattern, geometry, inclination,
Variety of scale—these
Are nowhere else as evident
As here in California,
Eden at the edge of the world.
Mountains, dark forests,
Bright deserts, clouds,
The undulating Pacific,
Long valleys where
The mullion of a single oak
Punctuates a blue wash of sky—
For every region, I conceive
Elevations and textures to
Compliment the natural,
Suitable to purpose. 
Need informs design, but I
Consider the angle of light,
The climate, and the view.

As well as shelter, buildings
Should give pleasure—castle,
Cottage, gymnasium, or school. 
Details embellish form.
Ironwork twins itself in shadow. 
Polished wood holds depths 
No paint can simulate.

Read the world’s cities—
Styles and colors permutate 
Our civilizations’ virtues 
And accomplishments.
Buildings should reminds us 
Of our own potential strength
And the satisfaction of life
Committed to work,
Festooned in beauty.