The difficulty to think at the end of day,
When the shapeless shadow covers the sun
And nothing is left except light on your fur—
….and August the most peaceful month.
To be, in the grass, in the peacefullest time,
And to feel that the light is a rabbit-light
In which everything is meant for you
And nothing need be explained;
You become a self that fills the four corners of
~Wallace Stevens, from “A Rabbit As King of the Ghosts”
August brims with fullness in need of emptying –
a spilling over of light and sun and heat.
With so much of everything in mid-summer,
I welcome relief
in a cool whiff of a misty morning.
Even my rabbit-light fur
is beginning to darken and in-fill
in anticipation of long dark winter days.
Like the pulsing vessels
in twitching transparent ears,
both warming and cooling,
I will fill the empty spaces.
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“Let me enjoy this late-summer day of my heart while the leaves are still green and I won’t look so close as to see that first tint of pale yellow slowly creep in. I will cease endless running and then look to the sky ask the sun to embrace me and then hope she won’t tell of tomorrows less long than today. Let me spend just this time in the slow-cooling glow of warm afternoon light and I’d think I will still have the strength for just one more last fling of my heart.”
– John Bohrn, Late August
Everything is made to perish; the wonder of anything at all is that it has not already done so. No, he thought. The wonder of anything is that it was made in the first place. What persists beyond this cataclysm of making and unmaking?
There are times when all appears to be perishing, especially in the dying time of year when the world is drying up and blowing away like dust storms. The obituary pages predominate in the paper, accompanying an overload of bad news, mass shootings and suicide bombings. All appears to be perishing with no relief or hope.
Even the leaves are bleeding red.
But it is the waning light and shortening days coloring my view like smoky haze in the sky painting a sunset deep orange. Darkness is temporary and inevitably helpless; it can never overcome the light of all things made.
Life persists in the midst of perishing because of the cataclysm of a loving and bleeding God dying as sacrifice. Nothing, nothing can ever be the same.
“God goes where God has never gone before.”
~ Kathleen Mulhern in Dry Bones
in celebration of a night’s rain and possibly more to come after months of drought, dust and wildfires to the east ~~~
… relief for the change in weather, but sadness at the coming transition to the dying darkness of autumn.
At the end of August, fall nip in the air,
I sensed something beyond me,
Everywhere I felt it in my flesh
As I beheld the sea and sky, the day,
The wordless immanence of the eternal…
~Richard Eberhart from “The Loon Call”
the best of the summer gone,
and the new fall not yet born.
The odd uneven time.
I want to be bruised by God.
I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out.
I want to be stretched, like music wrung from a dropped seed.
I want to be entered and picked clean.
~Charles Wright from “Clear Night”
This was one of those perfect days in late summer where the spirit of autumn takes a first stealing flight, like a spy, through the ripening country-side, and, with feigned sympathy for those who droop with August heat, puts her cool cloak of bracing air about leaf and flower and human shoulders.
– Sarah Orne Jewett
August spilled across the sky at dawn; morning has broken…
August rushes by like desert rainfall,
A flood of frenzied upheaval,
But still catching me unprepared.
Like a match flame
Bursting on the scene,
Heat and haze of crimson sunsets.
Like a dream
Of moon and dark barely recalled,
Shadows caught in a blink.
Like a quick kiss;
One wishes for more
But it suddenly turns to leave,
Dragging summer away.
– Elizabeth Maua Taylor
What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
– Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden
The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes
My life is like the summer rose
That opens to the morning sky,
But ere the shades of evening close
Is scattered on the ground – to die.
– Richard Henry Wilde