The Swifts Are Screaming

Above the house, the swifts are screaming.

Can you hear them, Clarice?

We are bogged down by time and heat and lethargy.

I’m thinking of an old poem of mine, Dog Days, written under the sledgehammer of a July, noon-day sun:

who can deny /the sapping sun/at its highest point /lording over /our genuflecting /straw gods

We are all genuflecting, lowering our weary, supine brows. It’s been a hell of a long summer, and we’ve not yet reached July. Who could have foreseen this, who prepared? Not we little men, we average Joes and Josephines.

Not tonight, you-know-who.

Tomorrow is more of the same, that has been foreseen, but nothing lasts forever, nothing lasts at all, and storms are due to hit the day after that.

And then we batten down. Straw Gods and rush men.

Children of the corn. Drinking in the rain.

Summer Lions

I’m sitting in the garden, once again, this time reading Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine.

It’s summer. I can smell summer; taste summer. My jackdaws are lining up along the neighbour’s rooftop, tethered by the sun.

It’s in the autumn I’ll think of my father; my grandparents, see the young ghosts of my brother and I playing cricket in the ginnel, dwarfed by walls I can comfortably peer over.

For now, it’s my children, playing with the dog as I pause to watch, mid-sentence, laughing on the threshold of a great beyond.

Summer Simmers

Night has finally fallen on this longest day. For once, the summer solstice actually looked like a summer’s day. I think the heat and energy was affecting everyone.

I saw a woman shouting like a matador to passing cars. “Speed down! Speed down! You’re speeding up!” Then, almost as an aside to herself: “I’m old school. Hard school.”

Can you actually ‘speed down’? Can an old school be a hard school? These are the things keeping me awake tonight.

Like I said, it’s affecting everyone.

Dog Days

From my poetry blog.

Coronets For Ghosts

Dog Days



pockets of dereliction
the dog days of July

hanks of grass
and shaggy-maned
stalks

who can deny
the sapping sun

at its highest point
lording over
our genuflecting
straw gods

in the square
in the shade 
of a spreading elm
the fatigue of noon-day
workers





©AndrewJamesMurray

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