Many fingered like the sea
a heaving mass beneath the coping of the sky
sopping up the clarity with spongy paws
it wrings sweat from the veiled air
puddled in vague yellow unclear green
dripping dry and crisp beneath the tread
this heat slows the workings of the world
like syrup in the wheels and cogs
silencing even the irritable crows.
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.
flickering the shadowed sunlight where
a blackbird sings softly, a trio of notes,
listening in vain
for stream babble
to finish the line.
The temperatures have been steady 95-96°F for weeks now and not a drop of rain. We’re hoping it will break tonight though we’ve missed out on all the storms recently.
to this crisp-leafed
no birds sing
to comfort the silent shrinking of the earth
mounds of dry grass
The Oracle gave me a double puente, which the French would call a viaduct.
Heat crushes me,
hot winds lick my skin with coarse tongue,
ripping splinters from a rainless sky,
as thirsty mouths
waiting for a summer storm
there was a time when clouds drifted,
cool and wet from the salt ocean,
heavy with the moist perfume of sea stars
and the liquid darkness of the night sky.
Now heat melts,
so catch your ship and sail away but
~remember this picture~
breathe in colour
as the animals do,
dark and gentle,
let it grow this earth, this life,
as the vine climbs
to the moon.
Third day of over 105°F and possibly hotter tomorrow. I reckon that’s what’s been wrong with the internet connection—it’s melted.
This evening I disturbed a very large green whip snake keeping cool beneath the origano I needed for supper. They’re not venomous but they bite and it didn’t go very far. Just behind the honeysuckle. It had a dish of water when I watered the froglets this evening.
Evenings of hot breeze, fluttering
watering froglets and their parched hiding places,
filling basins with well water
for birds and dragonflies,
pheasant crashing through trees
to reach the pitiful water-trickle
of the stream.
Nights still as withheld breath,
full of melting stars,
mornings of no dew
and the birds silenced soon after cockcrow.
boundless as a desert,
cracked and singed,
and the orange sun squeezes us dry
in its fiery fist.
It’s hot again and the grass is singing.
The grass is full of crickets,
singing summer songs.
Bent blades of legs spring,
fast as light flickers in the droughty sky.
Parched the grass,
full of movement, a crackled sea,
where the cock-sure jays strut
and reap their origami harvest.
For the dverse prompt—pepper
Salty air hangs heavy in the heat,
water sparkles with savagery,
and in bright pools of sun,
peppered with creeping life,
starlings peck and prod.
Heat beats down,
a musty blanket,
full of dust motes flying,
trying to escape.
I watch the river evaporate.
I hide my eyes,
but still the hand of heat lies heavy on my head.
Throbbing darkly like the sun,
shadows bob in and out of sight.
Flowers, an unexpected joy,
frazzle in their coloured crowns and gowns,
thirsty even after storm rain torrents.
Walking these hard pavements
is like walking the floor of Hell,
and the brazen coping of its roof
is falling in molten drops
on this dry, whispering world.
In the city’s hum, a bubble,
in the dust and grit,
a canopy of green
and the roses in bud again.
In the noise of neighbours’ indiscriminate laughter
and baby crying in the heat,
I thank the god of small things
for the blackbird.
The man who roars above the high-pitched chatter of the crowd, to prove that his enjoyment of the enjoyment is more intense, is always among the clients—him or his brother or cousin or someone with the same ideas about the right way to behave in a public place. The woman who shrills on the same register as the whine of the mosquito is also here, drink in hand, or could be her sister or cousin. Mosquito woman and lion man lead the dance, sprinkling their drinks like pixie dust among the splinters of Sunday calm with their asinine braying. The shrieking laughter of their children, allowed to play their idiotic games with empty cans and plastic bottles while parents drink and bray at one another according to the rules of adult enjoyment, drills into my brain with the precision of a dentist’s drill. Oh death, where is thy sting? Come, sting liberally around here—this enjoyment needs you.
Dust, red pepper hot
stings eyes with sweat-stuck lashes—
spring seems far away.