The sharp retort of the jays cries
strike the air,
his grief too much for the cedars to bear.
What greater woe is there
than summers ebb?
Yellowing leaves, spent and melancholy,
as though weeping,
for their passing will soon be forgotten
in winters bare and spare air.
The elegies of wing and wind-
the sighing trees sorrow
in the mourning doves song
of summers passing.
Odd over ripe days of late August-
Heat drifts by in waves to be washed out
In the darkening dusk.
The sultry night cools minute by minute
As the earth tilts towards the autumnal equinox.
We sit on the porch eating peaches,
The last fruit of the orchard
Now swept of debris.
Only the wasps and bees remain
Still searching for that last drop
Of sweet succulent summer.
I have promised a long walk,
sitting on the shady porch,
dark against the morning sun,
no sound except the chorus of cicadas
humming at the open windows
their late summer rasps.
Reaching for the blue sky hat on the hook
in sun yellow bedroom
decorated in birds
and their songs of August,
I enter a long ago summer room
layered in chenille bedspreads
and feathered pillows.
The scent of fig and over ripe pears
mixes with must of old paperbacks
and Ivory soap. My grandmother’s face powder
and Pampa’s pipe tobacco mingle together
in such a strong sense memory
that I have to sit down.
That long ago room of Waco childhood
spent lazy and loved, surrounded by
a charm of cousins and beautiful aunts
with handsome, laughing uncles in tow.
It has become gilded and foxed by the years,
not quite fact and not quite fiction.
The small dog breaks into the room
ready for his promised walk
and hat in hand,
we slam the screen door,
trailing the scent of figs
and sun ripened pears behind us.
In the beginning was the Word.
And then there was a garden
and a tree
and a fruit
that they say was an apple.
But my bet is on a peach.
Cause who could resist
such a luscious fragrant succulent
Not fair dangling
such enticing beauty
even with a warning label.
Do I dare to eat a peach?”
― T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
it is still July but the season has changed
and rabbits have had their way with my garden
raping and pillaging as they went
a castle over run
and I am left a distressed damsel
after the dragon has lost interest
and flown away
leaving only singed bones
of caladiums and daisies
such is a fairy tale from a summer afternoon
when the air has softened
and summers heat has turned down a notch
and the only dragons in the garden
fly on gossamer wings
schooling thru the soon to be autumn
Take my hand
lets walk the soft path
under the old cedar trees
They are sacred, these mages, these venerable timbers,
hallowed by the desert mothers
and tiny finches dancing in their boughs
and pale angels who sing with them at dawn.
Ancient and holy, they accept your shallow breathing
and extend their grace to you
in emanation, ripe with incense.
Breathe deeply this exhalation, this glory,
as these solstice trees inhale your breath.
An offering, an honor, an acceptance,
a giving and a receiving
until your blood flows
with a resinous scent
purified by the synchronicity of spirit,
a grace of cedars.
‘I will remember this as long as I live.’
I want to experience great joy
and great beauty-
and small beauty
and lesser joys.
I want wonder each and every day.
Wonder of such significance
that it is etched in my memory
with gold threads
and bright liquid silver.
With each day passing,
the time lessens,
adding an urgency to each minute
Time enough to open eyes and heart
to joy and beauty and wonder.
And time enough
as long as I live.