Friday, September 23, 2011


In those days
at the equinox of the Late Summer Year
the heat rose again as in July
and the people did once again
dip in their swimming pools in luxury
and lament the waning hours of daylight

Two months of summerlike weather
did the people lose that year
two months of gardens growing
two months of sending children outdoors
their tans were lousy
unless they went to a tanning salon

Summer dresses and sandals
tank tops and shorts
the people wore them even though
the sun and the earth declared autumn
"No, Summer will not end!" they cried
"Extend it the two lost months!"

"This cannot be done," said the Lord.
"The sun and the earth have their own agenda
as they must
for the sake of the rest of the world
yet I will help your acceptance blossom
and feed the nimble-tongued toad as well

Thus the Lord
allowed the flies of September to flourish
in their hundreds, in their thousands
flies which knew that Summer ended
and which coveted the houses
and the dinners of mankind

Like a second job
the people took up fly swatting
massing mounds of carcasses
in their kitchens and their porches
in their bathrooms and their dens
and turning their many minds

And so the people stopped their whining
heaved sighs of relief at early sunset
they looked to the skies for tell-tale hints of rain
and began to hunger for the chilly nights
the wearing of sweaters
and the demise of all the filthy, bloated, obnoxious and frantic flies.

The flower in the picture is cyclamen, which is winter color around here. It's begun blooming early, for reasons I don't know. We got two decent tomatoes from cultivated plants, finally, and while I welcome our current hot spell, I have indeed begun to wish for real autumn weather to slow down all these damned flies. They hang on the doors and sail in any time someone comes through; they ride on people's backs like they were on a bus and enter the kitchen to wallow on counter and dishcloth and mashed potatoes.

Ripening tomatoes, or the demise of flies? Well ...


Bernie said...

Do you have the chapter and verse reference for your scripture? I mean, I know it's in the Book of Oracle, but where?

Sure is the truth though.

Alexandra said...

Most poetry is lost on me (unless it's got a beat you can dance to), but this now ranks up there among my favorites.