Summer Waning and Wistful




Summer begins to have the look
Peruser of enchanting Book
Reluctantly but sure perceives
A gain upon the backward leaves —

Autumn begins to be inferred
By millinery of the cloud,
Or deeper color in the shawl
That wraps the everlasting hill.
~Emily Dickinson in “Summer Begins to Have the Look”



Summer is waning and wistful;
it has the look of packing up,
and moving on
without bidding adieu
or looking back over its shoulder.

I’m just not ready to wave goodbye to sun-soaked clear skies.

Cooling winds have carried in darkening clouds
spread green leaves everywhere,
loosened before their time.
Rain is long overdue
yet there is temptation to bargain
for a little more time.
Though we are in need of a good drenching
there are still onions and potatoes to pull from the ground,
berries to pick before they mold on the vine,
tomatoes not yet ripened,
corn cobs just too skinny to pick.

The overhead overcast is heavily burdened
with clues of what is coming:
earlier dusk,
the feel of moisture,
the deepening graying hues,
the briskness of breezes.

There is no negotiation possible.
I need to steel myself and get ready,
wrapping myself in the soft shawl of inevitability.

So autumn advances with the clouds,
taking up residence where summer has left off.
Though there is still clean up
of the overabundance left behind,
autumn will bring its own unique plans
for display of a delicious palette of hues.

The truth is we’ve seen nothing yet.




6 thoughts on “Summer Waning and Wistful

  1. Sunset pics Nos. 831146 and 912144 are very unusual. Have never seen any like them.
    My bones and joints are no where ready for winter!


  2. I don’t know, Rob Burnside. Just looked at the first pic again and recalled that we used to call It a ‘snow sky.’ When we were kids it was a wonderful sign. We dug our sleds out of the cellar, oiled the rungs and got ready for the first snowfall. At age 81, that is no longer the case.. I just put one more blanket on the bed to protect the bones and enlist the winter-long help of some young boy (or girl) to shovel me out.
    Thanks for your interest.

    Emily certainly livens up and challenges her readers’ minds with wonderful posts. What a gift.


  3. A snow sky it is, aliceny, and my Flexible Flyer hasn’t seen its like in many a winter as well. Emily often reminds me of a favorite poet, Elinor Wylie. Now I think of sonnet four from “Wild Peaches” and the curious attitude we share toward all things winter: “I love the look, austere, immaculate/Of landscapes drawn in pearly monotones./ There’s something in my very blood that owns/Bare hills, cold silver on a sky of slate/ A thread of water, churned to milky spate/ Streaming through slanted pastures fenced with stones.” After this, who cares about yon polar vortex?


  4. She was widely-read in her lifetime Emily, though not nearly enough now, so I’m pleased to pique your interest–enjoy! And thanks for all the good things you send our way. Rob


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s