Sunday, August 14, 2016
Eve of the Assumption
August has the augmenting of figs
and enriching of the spectrum
with the sun's lowered slant, a summer height
that softens, to bevel softer yet
with dewier mornings and dewier nights;
a wealth cast of glow and judicious yellow
on groves and swimming pools, on brassy cows
in their wading acres, mown or wild
with wind-mingled seed - and crink-necked lower
figs, sweet by same light that premonishes
the still far-off cusp of the first unclasping
leaves; for here, in dumbfound August,
that distant undoing is also close,
yoked, in presence of the ripening,
so hale in mercy, in seasonal ease.
September waits behind a shell door
wind deftly pushes: redolent sunflowers
pewed on the threshold, hold past bloom toward
ground webs, over all the hollows,
their planetoid stares, adorned with birds.
Silvering the scales of the shelving boughs
fore-sorrow's song rushes up the poplars now:
swinging-hinge summer, unlatched; sophia-flushed
the aureole pommes, mottled ripe with red.
Ajar comes the door at the end of August,
giving to the lightest touch
objectless wonder over sight; fresh bed
reprieved at the breathing window tastes it,
beds paradisial old, broached with spiders
and seeds, undreamed, unlooked for, honed store;
a hidden quantum in the season's ever-Saturday
that gazing bores hollow and full; all that is mounded
at valley's mirroring end, tugging stems of daisies
come out of nothing; blue volleys the land's face out of its lie
hallooing us too, who have our mounds meanwhile.
Mercy's maturity. The summer grows
slack and broken, like sets of swings
near a disused tennis court - with memory, empty,
letting the wind through, whistle flown
over the railroad's skinned-shin metal, like birds
that tousle death-tops of the rail-side tansy.
Water voices rake the air,
better far than any fountain;
in wind the dilatory poplars
are gravid with youth and wisdom.
Sun sings on their leaves' pale undersides
its shorter, lower, shortening lease.
With lessening things, more embraces
a staying in the land that breaks it, as
the river's reduction holds the heron;
as bushels of wind past any recall,
are sweet with cut hay heat, the cattle's
russet broadsides and blunt-nosed lowing.
Mercy alike, grows not old,
but grows on the old like veining
huckleberry through the stump of sponge
that lets its flutings be bared, its barkless lungs
breathe hummus-faced and root-haired. Mercy is
newer than dew, across dead grass
father's heat-burnish in blinding range;
in cottonwoods that laugh in waves
though laden with dust. Mercy is
the mountain's quiet messages
sent along the asphalt like wind-sped detritus.
A world-bordering of pearl peak
luminescent in the pressing east;
an outpushing slant that runs the sward
to a snowy light in the impatient evening;
the house of land is like a bounding hare.
A foundation in the fully expended,
to every nowhere no way; mercy is rain and plough,
giant's hand on the raw shoulder,
on the bread of land a sleep-eyed kindle. Mercy is
close as the full apples on the head-knock bough.