That day we lay upon the grass, ++++A luminescent green.
The sparks that arced from arm to arm ++++Across the space between.
Our bodies quickened by the sun, ++++The willow leaves aflush,
The sunlight sparkling on the lake, ++++Our blood bestirred to rush.
Up and down the parkway, flowers ++++Enticing with their blooms,
Our loveless winter ended there, ++++Emerging from our tombs.
For we had slept as sleepers sleep, ++++Unmindful of the world,
Astonishingly we awoke, ++++Much like a rose unfurled.
Notes: July 3 is almost as big a holiday for me as July 4.
On July 3, 1982 I took a walk with a beautiful woman around that most beautiful of the Minneapolis lakes, Lake of the Isles. We had known each other less than two months. We sat down in the grass by the lagoon.
The pasture is brown,
and snow has left the mountains.
But the sky. The sky!
NOTES: Late summer signs are coming early to the Pacific Northwest this year. This past winter we broke a 122 year record for rainfall in Seattle. We got 44.67 inches of rain from October through April. Which was the wettest such stretch since record-keeping began in 1895. (We rack up almost 9 inches in February alone.)
But not to worry. This is the Pacific Northwest. No matter how dry it gets this summer, we know that the rains will return in the fall and remain with us for what seems like forever. So we can relax and appreciate the beauty around us.
When May bursts forth all moisture and mirth,
And birds bestir while you are still abed,
With everything bent on fostering birth,
And balmy blossoms like a banquet spread
Call to the wanderer weary and wan,
“Close your eyes and breathe and remember nights
When you lay upon the redolent lawn,
And took your bashful taste of love’s delights.”
For though that time is but a glimmer now,
And keenness of the night is now subdued,
A fragrant echo still awakes somehow,
And stirs again a near forgotten mood.
One kiss with wonder could the world endow.
In one embrace you found all you pursued.
NOTES: Love when you are young and young love at any age share a common quality. My favorite month of May reminds me of that.
When I was very young and in love for the first time, I ran across a short little Robert Browning poem called Summum Bonum, which spoke to me quite vividly. Many years and many miles later, I discovered — thankfully — that you did not have to be young to fall in love again.
There just may be a whisper of an echo from that poem in here.
The grey cat crouches
in the lush October grass,
wary and alert.
I’ve been a bit busy lately so this one is getting posted a few days after the photo was taken and the poem written. But here in the Pacific Northwest, the grass stays green all winter, so that hasn’t changed much. The grass is even greener now than in the peak of summer, when things often get a bit dry.
Funny thing, I can go for weeks without seeing a cat on my evening walks, but one day in October, it seemed like every cat in town was outside, either lurking in the foliage or dozing in the fast-departing patches of late afternoon sun.
They seemed to sense, like I, that the autumn rains would be coming soon. We all were taking advantage of the last dry days of Indian Summer.
Late summer’s sun has baked the grass to brown.
The days grow shorter with each passing day,
Soon, autumn’s chill will make the leaves fall down.
All of this aching beauty will decay.
And yet I love the shadows’ slanting trace,
The once green grain gone golden in its rows,
And how I love the lines etched in your face.
It’s funny, as love ripens how it grows.
The number of our days we do not know.
No sleeper knows if he will ever wake.
So come, let’s join above, between, below.
My dear, let’s cause our fragile clay to quake.
Let us make love as if it’s our last go.
Let us embrace like dawn will never break.