The Dells


Painting by Benjamin Haughton

Across the augmented valley,
Dells unroll in melismatic musics
Harmonizing with morphing cloud shadow
A scent of mushroom and wet pine
Snakes through glades as a descant
With overtones of cinquefoil in sun
For the creatures of fertility
The one civic duty is to press naked soles into springy black earth
Tilling and decolonizing rotting pome and leaf litter
Sending prayer of pulpy flesh core-ward
Committed, ever patient
Voices rendered to the land’s song in natural tetrachords
Representing only one’s own heart
Consenting not to a voice on their behalf
Yet always pituitary lover to the weary sojourner
Should one be so fortunate to cross paths.


©2018, Amaya Engleking

What does your utopia feel like?



  1. Tonya LaLonde · 13 Days Ago

    My vocabulary is comparitively extensive, but I wanted to thank you for using words I have to look up. It is refreshing to learn new words. Beautiful!😄❤

  2. gene · 13 Days Ago

    Unlike Tonya above, my vocabulary is not at all extensive…It requires a little (sometimes a lot) of work to know what you’re talking about…but I usually like it..this one is no exception. 🙂

  3. Visionariekind · 13 Days Ago

    wow, what wise words, what song sung with depth and harmony please sing on 💕💕

  4. @vapor_sage · 13 Days Ago

    I love how you prompt my imagination to sights sounds and smells with your words…my utopia is happening this very moment

  5. Brendan · 12 Days Ago

    I’ve been reading Richard Powers’ novel “The Overstory,” a tale in which the main protagonist is a tree canopy. That plush and verdant place leaps up afresh here in welcome. A gorgeous threnody which sounds like home.

  6. Lona Gynt · 11 Days Ago

    I love your beautiful Eden, a synesthesia paradise of music and smell and taste and touch. Where might these particular dells be?

    • Gospel Isosceles · 11 Days Ago

      Hi Lona! This is something I wrote for my dVerse prompt coming up tomorrow. Utopias. I hope you can participate:) Did you listen to the clip of the pianist Tigran Hamasyan? That performance speaks to me about love for and collaboration with our earth fellows, no matter where on the globe it be. He is Armenian but I have similarly felt in communion with brethren while listening to music all over space/time. You already know from Harry’s blog my love for Antonin, and in my humble opinion, the best psalms are the music-making ones. Where, or how, is your paradise?

  7. This is a glorious place… Love the way you mixed the senses in this.. not least the sense of walking barefoot in such plenty… (but of course there has to be snakes)

  8. Grace · 9 Days Ago

    Love the glorious commitment and committed patience to carve a path to one’s own journey. Specially that one:
    Representing only one’s own heart

  9. Glenn Buttkus · 9 Days Ago

    Paradise found, or a reasonable facsimile at least. Can we create a utopia out of a dystopia; perhaps. Some folks just find a way to brighten every day, while others wear it like a choking mantle. Your utopian vision is mighty pleasing to me on election day.

  10. sarahsouthwest · 9 Days Ago

    I love your musical semantic field. It’s lovely. The crossover of senses is beautifully done.

  11. kim881 · 9 Days Ago

    Gorgeous painting, music and especially the poem, Amaya! I agree with Sarah about the crossover of senses. I love the technical musical language scattered throughout the ‘augmented valley’.

  12. Jane Dougherty · 9 Days Ago

    The interweaving of the senses is lovely. I think I would like this place.

  13. lillian · 9 Days Ago

    Barefoot in to soil ….love that as a civic duty. And this line
    “Voices rendered to the land’s song in natural tetrachords” —
    Thanks for hosting, Amaya! Looking forward to being transported to utopia this evening in my reading!

  14. V.J. Knutson · 9 Days Ago

    You have certainly mastered the language of utopia.

  15. rothpoetry · 9 Days Ago

    So true. To understand utopia one need only watch nature in progress… the bird singing… the butterfly flitting, the rabbit sitting still thinking you can’t see him… Very good!

  16. Mary (tqhousecat) · 9 Days Ago

    You find your utopia in words….very appropriate for a writer, I am not well versed in words, I learn some as I go, but I do enjoy reading new ones and researching them.

  17. Gina · 9 Days Ago

    pituitary lover – i had a chemical response to this poem Amaya

    • Gospel Isosceles · 7 Days Ago

      Haha, glad to hear it! I really just wanted a new way to say, “treat someone lovingly without even thinking of it.” It should be our nature to invite the traveler in. Plus, “pituitary” has the word “pit” and I felt it fit the imagery.

      • Gina · 7 Days Ago

        it must have been divinely revealed to you as the “pit” is the centre that controls a lot of other body functions and reactions. it really went well with the image yes.

  18. Brendan · 9 Days Ago

    Second comment, more to the point of the challenge — childhood, for it to survive (as well as imagination), must have a secure walled garden, kept safe from intrusion by adult dominions. Equally important, when it’s time for the young to grow up & be initiated into the world of adulthood, they need to feel the grief and pain of every adult who has lost childhood forever. I don’t think our culture has a clue how to do this & suffers from so many adult children unable to leave their indulgent wombs. For me, utopias are the white world’s vision quest, leading us away from rather than deeper into the world. I have to keep reminding myself, wake up Dorothy, there’s no place like home. I do read your poem as a reminder to click my ruby shoes and look around.

  19. Astrid's Words · 9 Days Ago

    I love how your words encompass the beauty of life. Our utopia is right there for when we’re willing to notice.

  20. Christine Irving · 9 Days Ago

    I knew pome, but had forgotten – happy to be reminded. Melismatic and melisma and melismata are new!! Thank you for them and the incredibly fluid, lovely imagery – also the prompt that forced me out of a rutted pattern of thought. “Pituitary lover,” I groked immediately. It has entered my private lexicon.

  21. Just Barry · 8 Days Ago

    This feels like renewal… I’ll have to go back and look up many of the words, but my 1st impression is that of renewal and cleansing… your utopia sounds like a wondrous place and I’m considering vacationing there. 😊

  22. katiemiafrederick · 8 Days Ago

    SMILes And “The Hills Are Alive With
    The Sound of Music” as Utopia
    Is A Dance
    And Song
    Never Leaves Now..:)

    • Gospel Isosceles · 7 Days Ago

      Yes! I have said during these intense years of being mostly housebound with young children, that if I ever got half a day free, that’s what I’d do: make like Julie Andrews and run for the hills rejoicing.

      • katiemiafrederick · 7 Days Ago

        Been Doing ‘That’
        For 62 Months
        And Song
        Golden Ages
        For Real.. mY FriEnd

  23. Rob Kistner · 7 Days Ago

    Lovely Amaya, this heady visit to the valley… 🙂

    …rob from

  24. Vivian Zems · 6 Days Ago

    Amaya!! I love the flow of words and the eloquence here…even though I had to have a dictionary with me all the time! 🙂 . But this is why I do this:)

  25. Frank J. Tassone · 5 Days Ago

    An array of evocative images that offer an idyllic world! I love this line especially:

    “The one civic duty is to press naked soles into springy black earth”

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