High Summer

grass high and dry and
seeded as wheat
tips too close for focus
belly on the blanket beside it

a bowl of blueberries,
almost gone

the rain pretends to come
but no one cares
not even the cat

written july 31 — lughnasadh — feast of the grain harvest

Through the Gates, in July, Something Different

you step through three gates of trees
expecting to see something different
and you always do

today, a turkey
almost to the end of the boardwalk
through the swamp, just before

a stream-bed that’s mostly mud
with the one big stone you’ve hopped
a thousand times

where you can glimpse
one of the huge houses
whose owners have been building again

you stop long enough to regard him
and he calls to you, or to
a well-hidden mate, you can’t determine

his gobble uniquely his
and nothing really like
the english word we made for it

Silence, Lost Sisters, Escape

seeking emptiness
and learning not to fear it
we lost our sisters in the forest

now they gather in the back,
their voices shrill and loud
they don’t seem to have aged
but we have

when did we trade the forest
for this dry museum?
where is the way out?

must we exit through the gift shop
or is there another doorway
we have yet to find?

Hammond Pond Reservation, Green Line crossing

For five extra minutes you follow the path
through mayapple, sarsaparilla and anxiety
over a little hill and through
what might be blueberry and poison ivy
with beech and oak and maple rustling overhead
to a pond, a flooded field really
and the curl of wind over its flat surface
and the beaten-down dried rushes
and a barrier of stones
upon which rests
a butterfly with black, gold-tipped wings

thirty seconds later, you turn to see
the Riverside Line cross,
two green trolleys
over the silent water