Earthrise, December 1968, Image by Apollo 8

Friday, August 29, 2014

Watching After August Rains

Athens, Georgia
August 28, 2014

Come the season of crow and cicada
in the stasis of late summer
when old dogs and aging men
laze about their porches, waiting

perhaps to watch a raucous squad
maneuver through the understory
working the wide angles
ever closer, closing in

to stage a raid on take home tins
containing bits of doggie kibble
left from last night’s feeding.
Let them have it all, I whisper

staring down long moments
on a languid frame of fur and bones
to spot a shallow tell-tale breath.
Sleep, not death, not yet not yet.

Good ‘ole Bowser, last of litter
just another Georgia black dog
brought in from the woods.
Seen fifteen summers, asks so little –

tummy rubs and idle scritches,
snuffle walks around the back,
some kitchen scraps atop his kibble.
Let black birds have what he won’t eat.

We grow complacent waiting, waiting.
Far away the world lurches,
the young return to learning,
the busy go their scripted way.

You who strive and chase the wind
bursting with certain conviction,
would you pause and sit a while
to watch an August day with me?

For I have seen sixty five summers
that once seemed centuries
in a lifetime of forever
but from the distance of back decks

the days may drag
but years by God
are short. They lead
to spent seasons

tired dogs, and yearnings
which have no name
borne on a fresh westerly
clearing out the August rain.

Good ole' Bowser

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cloud Play in White on Blue

Bald Head Island, North Carolina
July 23, 2014; revised August 15, 2014

A worthy vocation, this:

to wake up and watch
white cumulus
expand into cerulean;

to hear the whisper
of palm fronds
rasp secrets of the sea breeze;

to look out and see
white ibis
scour the shade of cedar trees;

to let go and glide
the summer mind
and sense the impassive watcher smile;

to trace the fate
of clouds in skies
and grasp the end of mortal lives –

we all resolve in blue.

"Watson Mill Skyscape," by David Noah,
Winterville, Georgia