Heat rises

evening june

Heat rises from baked earth,

sighs in whisper of thistledown and butterfly wings,

bathes in gold the green beneath

more and more relentless blue,

seeps in the sweet, ripe smell of bird-pecked figs.

Leaves flutter,

flickering the shadowed sunlight where

a blackbird sings softly, a trio of notes,

listening in vain

for stream babble

to finish the line.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

14 thoughts on “Heat rises”

  1. Perfect late summer poem. The first three lines set the scene perfectly and I love how the blackbird stops short and waits in vain for the stream babble to finish the line.. what a great thought! Your description is lovely and I’ve experienced all of it. Even the fig tree. My dad was an orchardist and in our home garden there was a huge fig tree. I’ve never forgotten how green it was under the canopy of fig leaves, and it did get lots of fruit. Down here fig trees will grow but we don’t get enough hot weather to ripen the fruit.

    1. Thank you! I feel sorry for the birds. It’s been so dry and so hot. The stream is usually dry unless one of the dams upstream has let a little overflow out.
      There were hardly any figs last year but this year there have been masses. They used fruit trees for field boundaries here, and the lane is overhung by fig, different varieties of plum, peach and quince trees. It smells delicious 🙂

      1. I think the previous generation of farmers round here thought of it as paradise. Almost all of them are descended from Italians from the Veneto region who migrated here between the wars. So many men died during the First World War that the farms in the region were abandoned for lack of labour to work them. The French government offered the land to Italian migrants for practically nothing. They were the poorest of the poor in Italy and flocked to take up the offer. They planted trees just for the hell of it, because they could 🙂

      2. It was and they were grateful for the opportunity. Very few ever went back and now they are second generation born in France and of Italian, they only have the names.

    1. We’re having another burst of summer, temperatures still in the mid-nineties and not a drop of rain. The crows are getting cranky, nattering to themselves and attacking the poor buzzards.

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