Sunday, June 22, 2014

the sun pauses

Summer Solstice ’14

these days the garden cries out for water!
the tomatoes, okra, squash, and beans
want to release themselves into growth,

my native pumpkins are particularly enthusiastic 
to leaf and vine with gusto
as the hot sun beats down on them,

the days are as long as they’ll get,
the sun as intense and demanding 
as it can be at this latitude,

the sun slows on the horizon, stops,
and will slowly rise further and further to the south
during summer and through fall
as days slowly return their extra time to the night,
today the air is so moist at dawn
that water drops from clear skies,

mosquitoes and ticks pester me
and leave itchy bumps on the front line of my skin,
deer flies also hunger for my blood
and I smash half a dozen against my head and neck
on our aerobic walk this morning,

late afternoon the air is dead and still
and won’t accept the sweat from my brow,
the hazy clouds above barely move,

our blueberries celebrate the Solstice by starting to ripen,

so do the kiwi,

our passion flower reaches to the sky 
after being beaten back to the ground 
by last winter’s polar vortex,

we hurriedly get ready 
to follow the setting sun west to the Smokies tomorrow.

by Henry H. Walker
June 21, ’14

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