heat of the summer
There was a midsummer restlessness abroad—early August with imprudent loves and impulsive crimes.
To everything, there is a season of parrots. Instead of feathers, we searched the sky for meteors on our last night. Salamanders use the stars to find their way home. Who knew they could see that far, fix the tiny beads of their eyes on distant arrangements of lights so as to return to wet and wild nests? Our heads tilt up and up and we are careful to never look at each other. You were born on a day of peaches splitting from so much rain and the slick smell of fresh tar and asphalt pushed over a cracked parking lot. You were strong enough—even as a baby—to clutch a fistful of thistle and the sun himself was proud to light up your teeth when they first swelled and pushed up from your gums. And this is how I will always remember you when we are covered up again: by the pale mica flecks on your shoulders. Some thrown there from your own smile. Some from my own teeth. There are not enough jam jars to can this summer sky at night. I want to spread those little meteors on a hunk of still-warm bread this winter. Any trace left on the knife will make a kitchen sink like that evening air
the cool night before
star showers: so sticky so
warm so full of light
Summer Haibun by Aimee Nezhukumatathil
Keys upon keys
Silver and gold
on black and white
Secrets of the heart enfolded
oh so naturally unfold
within revealed visual
poetry of eyes
awakening our minds wildest imaginings
melting into warm summer evening songs
listen to this moment the soul captures
as the music crescendos
flames alive within us
all our burned out passion
struck, as with a fresh, dry match
the band, as usual,
is playing our song
on and on
the dance of love never ends
MY DARLING, the way you hear Me is unlike anyone else. The way I shape you, move you, wrap my arms around you. You are my dance partner. You are the one I choose. You are the one I cannot resist and to whom I come running.
I run to you.
I hear the music, the rushing water, the rustle of grass. There is a place we dance where it is just ours. Our floor, our clearing amidst busyness and worry.
I clear away doubt and shadow. I clear away trepidation and sorrow. I clear away despair and self-contempt. I clear away comparison and envy. I clear away disease of the heart, the kind that makes you pull away from Me.
I write notes no one before has heard. I am the orchestra, each instrument, the voice of every song. I sing for you. I dance with you. I feel the swell of each beat, each rise and fall. It is not mysterious to Me why you are precious, beautiful, captivating, stunning—all together so bright. You bear my image. You light a room because you bear my fragrance, my frame, my voice.
Yes, I hear my voice in you.
Sing now, daughter, the song I teach you to sing—the one I’ve already taught you. You’ve forgotten some notes and some you have yet to discover. Come now, the orchestra is waiting. Your music needs to be played.
Beach photos by Michael Harris