Barbara Crooker’s poems are lovely and help me see the images she writes about so descriptively. I have featured her poems before. (Just put her name in the Search box.) I asked her to send me some summer poems and I chose two to celebrate the Summer Solstice on Thursday. Both books are available on Amazon.com.
THIS SUMMER DAY
That sprinkler is at it again,
hissing and spitting its arc
of silver, and the parched
lawn is tickled green. The air
hums with the busy traffic
of butterflies and bees,
who navigate without lane
markers, stop signs, directional
signals. One of my friends
says we’re now in the shady
side of the garden, having moved
past pollination, fruition,
and all that bee-buzzed jazz,
into our autumn days. But I say wait.
It’s still summer, and the breeze is full
of sweetness spilled from a million petals;
it wraps around your arms, lifts the hair
from the back of your neck.
The salvia, coreopsis, roses
have set the borders on fire,
and the peaches waiting to be picked
are heavy with juice. We are still ripening
into our bodies, still in the act of becoming.
Rejoice in the day’s long sugar.
Praise that big fat tomato of a sun.
from Small Rain(Purple Flag Press, 2014)
She loves West Tenth Street on an
ordinary summer morning. (Michael
Cunningham, The Hours)
And I love this ordinary summer afternoon,
sitting under my cherry tree full of overripe fruit,
too much for us to pick, an abbondanza* of a tree,
I love this dark grey catbird singing its awkward song,
and the charcoal clouds promising rain they don’t deliver.
I love the poem I’ve been trying to write for months,
but can’t; I love the way it’s going nowhere at all.
I love the dried grass that crackles when you walk on it,
leached of color, its own kind of fire.
Way off in the hedgerow, the musical olio of dozens of birds,
each singing its own song, each beating its own measure.
This is all there is: the red cherries, the green leaves,
sky like a pale silk dress, and the rise and fall
of the sweet breeze. Sometimes, just what you have
manages to be enough.
from Radiance (Word Press, 2005)
P.S. *abbodanza means abundance