We are just dipping our toes into the month of August, but summer already seems to be coming to an end. Perhaps this is because some of my teacher friends are getting their classrooms ready and preparing to begin their new school year within days. Perhaps this is because August has always meant (for me) a turning towards school thoughts: curriculum maps, new units to explore, changes to make.
July, it seems, signifies Summer: long days without clocks or schedules, days to do with as one pleases. August, it seems, signifies a return to responsibilities, clock watching, calendar checking.
So, I share this bittersweet poem for Poetry Friday. I am still surrounded by summer’s languorous heat and gifts of lovely wildflowers…but I am now keenly aware of its passing.
Day after day, day after still day,
The summer has begun to pass away.
Starlings at twilight fly clustered and call,
And branches bend, and leaves begin to fall.
The meadow and the orchard grass are mown,
And the meadowlark’s house is cut down.
The little lantern bugs have doused their fires,
The swallows sit in rows along the wires.
Berry and grape appear among the flowers
Tangled against the wall in secret bowers,
And cricket now begins to hum the hours
Remaining to the passion’s slow procession
Down from the high place and the golden session
Wherein the sun was sacrificed for us.
A failing light, no longer numinous,
Now frames the long and solemn afternoons
Where butterflies regret their closed cocoons.
We reach the place unripe, and made to know
As with a sudden knowledge that we go
Away forever, all hope of return
Cut off, hearing the crackle of the burn-
ing blade behind us, and the terminal sound
Of apples dropping on the dry ground.
Add your link, and let the Poetry Friday festivities begin!