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Friday, August 27, 2010

End of August

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end of August


under juice, over fire
up the melon and down the peach

heat lightning, bug elated
passing the torch to sunflower’s wick

corn rows, wide-mouthed mile
top of the stalk frizz hair style

Ferris wheel, window peeled
ice cream drip upon the lip

bareskin toes, laundry snap
goldenrod and dragonfly zip

rose of dawn, the horse's laugh
life is far too short--by half!

garden gate, husband's whistle
ducks squat by the Canada thistle

naked arms, cotton skirt
wind blows (it's such a flirt)

drooling cat, summer fur
lazy nap, beating purr

tomato cheeks, basil nose
wilting thyme, Get the hose!

juice the veggies, sun the grill
summer’s here, still, still, still

~ Ruth



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50 comments:

Lorenzo said...

A wonderful gentle summer rollercoaster ride that comes to such a soft still, still, still stop. As amazing as the imagery is in this poem, when I hear it in my head I find that each couplet evokes so many other associated images that are just as rich. The 'bareskin toes' have me walking barefoot in the grass hearing sun bleached sheets snap in the wind. I can hear the husband's whistle as loudly as the squatting ducks by the thistle. I won't even go on about what that flirting wind blows into my tawdry mind (the drooling cat knows). Well, I won't go on. Perhaps the heat is getting to me, but this August poem will last me well into September.

João said...

drip, drip, drip...
water drop, end of summer trip.

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, summer seems to loosen memory and nostalgia more than the other seasons, for me anyway. Maybe it's because we were outside so much as kids, or venturing out into the world of dating. I remember going to the drive-in A&W with my neighbor in her dad's convertible VW, and the waitress put the tray on the window, with the frosty mugs of root beer. It was night, and I wondered if this was heaven. Other memories are of music, which was great, at the beach or lying in bed on a hot night with no lights on except the radio's. I kind of wish I'd asked commenters to leave their own couplet/s, which João has made me think of. So thank you for your evoked images.

Ruth said...

João, oh yes! Your couplet fits mine perfectly. Here in the U.S., we have Labor Day the end of August or early September, and it is traditionally when families take one last trip, or stay at home and barbecue. There is now a law in Michigan that school won't start until after Labor Day. I think it's to promote tourism in our poor state. We're so fortunate to have water water all around. And me, I haven't even been to the beach this summer, at the Big Lake. Sad!

amuse me said...

I absolutely love the flower pictures. Also, this is the first year we have grown heirloom tomatoes and now every year I will be looking forward to this time of year for the same taste sensation!

Susan said...

hot, hot summer
winter's ahead, what a bummer

That's probably not the right way to write it, but I'M not the poet...hehehe.

Loved it, Ruthie...everything about summer running through my head now. :)

Ruth said...

Oh, thank you, M! Good eye, this tomato is one of Don's "pink heirloom" variety. It was the most perfect and glorious tomato I'd seen, and so I asked it to sit for this portrait. How generous, and then we ate it!

Ruth said...

And M, I meant to add my hearty support to your own heirloom tomato growing and eating! Don's first were last year.

Ruth said...

Susie, what I love about your couplet is the irony, that this has been such a hot summer, and a cooling winter is coming, but it's a bummer nonetheless! :)

I remember ends of summer growing up, and even as an adult, and realizing that even though it was "over", and we went to school and all, September was maybe the best month of all, when the ebullience of flowers, the low amber light, the last and best of the garden vegetables, all of it is at its very best. Nights are cooler, it's not yet autumn. It's like September is one of the best months, but it seems to get short shrift in our psyches (mine anyway).

Bonnie said...

How well you have captured the felt sense of the waning days of summer. Each couplet immersed me in specific treasured memories. I leave with a smile. Thank you.

George said...

A fine little poem, Ruth, one that is sending me into the fields and rivers in these waning days of August. I suppose one could say that this poem is about berries, melons, peaches, sunflowers, drooling cats, and the other forms of life that adorn the last of summer's days. To me, however, it is a poem about paying attention to the ebb and flow of one's life. Keep paying attention, Ruth, and keep telling us what you see. It's always a delight.

Deslilas said...

Fin de l'Auguste.
Auguste is in France ( and Germany perhaps) the poor partner of the white clown. He is unsmart, his clothes are too big and colored, he's different.
And difference is a fault in my country nowadays.
Roms and Gipsies aren't any longer welcome.
It's sad and I hope that another season will make us less ashamed to be French.

willow said...

It certainly feels like fall here in Central Ohio this morning and I am giddy as a school girl. Fun piece. Love that flirty skirt!

ellen abbott said...

We're having our coolest morning so far but I know in an hour or two it will still be hot.

cathyswatercolors said...

Sweet poem leaving with an optimistic, it's still summer,bring on the garden veggies! INdeed. The poem reminds me of all the things i cherish about summer. Ferris wheel... our family went every year. I miss it. I was the sweet end to a wonderful season. We always skipped the midway and went into the barns with the animals and veggie displays.
Ah, back to school soon.

cathyswatercolors said...

oops Ruth, i forgot to tell you where we went that would be the state fair!

Kate said...

A great poem, Ruth; but a little early for me. Our summer is rain every day and the locals wait for September and October when the sun returns. We're just beginning to have a few sunshiny days and I love them. We'll lament summer's passing just a bit later on.
Thanks.

Ginnie said...

This may be one of my favorites of yours, Ruth, because it reminds me a bit of e.e. cummings. Lots of wonderful whimsy! How fun.

Loring Wirbel said...

Incantations! They can keep the sound of summer running. Lovely.

Oliag said...

Here is a poem that I am going to copy and add to my "summer poems" collection...it exactly expresses my feelings of this time of year...it says what I couldn't say...

and here is my couplet...

low tide smell, fog horn blare
saltwater spray thickening hair

...and just to let you know...I was a car hop at an A&W for many of my teen years:)

Babs-beetle said...

Love the poem - and the tomatoes look delicious! I've never seen them like that before.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Bonnie.

I was "blown away" by your painting and Ted Kooser poem today. As I told you there, something erupted in me upon seeing and reading it. I guess something had built in me, and it was perfectly released at your post.

Ruth said...

Dear George, it is a privilege to be led out into the world to pay attention to the ebb and flow. I feel it at your place continually, and through your comments here. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Bonjour, Daniel. I too hope that Auguste's differences will be accepted, in France, and in the U.S., and everywhere. Our borders and boundaries -- human skin or roads or rivers, or lines on a map -- are an illusion, making us think someone else is other. Well of course we are individuals, but we are also the same, one. Let us swim the rivers!

photowannabe said...

Your word pictures are quite amazing. I felt the breeze, heard the laundry flap and caught the juicy drips on my chin.
Thanks for sharing this fabulous ode to August.

Ruth said...

willow, I will look for new life in you in autumn -- joy and bliss!

Ruth said...

Ellen, this isn't Texas, but it was freezing here this morning, and now it's very warm. I heard it's going to get down in the 40s in the next couple of days.

Ruth said...

Cathy, I have never been to the state fair, but I love the county fairs. I actually like the Midway, walking it at least once. But we go and stroke the horse's noses too, and gawk at the chickens, sheep and goats. This year there was an exotic animal pen, with a kangaroo, parrots, a camel, a big tortoise, and I don't remember what else. (Ingham County.)

Char said...

i want that chair - i adore those metal chairs

i can't wait for the fair - it arrives here in october

Terresa said...

Loved the rhyme and rhythm of this poem. Especially, "naked arms, cotton skirt
wind blows (it's such a flirt)."

Gorgeous, just like the end of summer, golden, dripping, delicious.

Ruth said...

Boots, I love that comparison, thank you. Once whimsy knocks, it's hard to stop!

Ruth said...

Oh, Loring, wouldn't it be cool (in a warm way) to sit around a bonfire and extemporize couplets, going 'round?

Ruth said...

Sweet Oliag, thank you for the honors! First being included in your summer collection, wonderful, and I wonder what else is in there. Second, for your captivating couplet! Just perfectly yours, and I like how you worked in the hair bit that you and I talk about in the summer.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Babs. That's a pink heirloom, though I don't know why it's called pink, because it's about the reddest tomato I ever saw. I couldn't believe its density!

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Sue! Northern California is another place I would enjoy the end of summer, I think. I've even there in the autumn, and it was beautiful.

Ruth said...

Char, Don picked the blue chair up in one of his famous yard sale forays.

Yes, in Alabama you have to have the fair after the heat dissipates, I never thought of that.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Terresa, I appreciate your kind comment, particularly knowing as I do how hard the summer was on you, corrosive heat!

Dave King said...

Fine poem. I very much enjoyed reading it.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Dave! It's nice to see you.

Gwen Buchanan said...

the light in your photo perfectly defines the hot August weather...love all the muted colors...

Your poem is so fun.. plain to see you were playing!!!

Pat said...

Loved the imagery! Gosh those tomatoes look yummy!

ds said...

Oh, what a fabulous cartwheel of a poem this is! I believe you have coined a new phrase with "bareskinned feet." So much--and so much fun. Then still. Summer...
You caught it.

Sidney said...

Time flies :-(

Ruth said...

Gwen, I'm so pleased you thought the photo image caught the sense of late summer, which is what I was going for. Thank you. And I am also delighted that you felt the connection with the play that George has been encouraging. I don't think there is any accident that this is a playful poem, having read his posts and follow-up comments.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Pat! Believe me, the tomatoes were even yummier than they look.

Ruth said...

Dear DS, the Ferris wheel became a cartwheel, what a perfect symbol for how this poem feels to me too. (See how you nail it?)

Ruth said...

Sidney! And how.

This is just the oddest thing, a good synchronicity. Just yesterday, I was thinking, "Where is Sidney, and will he blog again?" After how many months? And here you are! I like that I had a pre-Sidney-visit idea that you were on your way back.

Shari Sunday said...

Lovely little summer poem, Ruth. Wish I could be more nostalgic for summer. Too deep in middle of it still.

California Girl said...

Yeah! Great summer for vegetables in our neck o the woods too. Spent yesterday on a local farm hosting visitors. Took the tour myself and it was heavenly.

Jeanie said...

Wilting thyme! Get the hose -- it seems to be my mantra these days. How I grit my teeth a bit as summer comes to an end, life picks up its pace. My hair won't be quite so frizzy or out of control, but my life will be more so! This poem really captures all of it. Wonderful observations!