The Friday Poem: ‘August’ by Mary Oliver

It’s August, an intermission before the commotion of fall. Except this has been an August, a summer, like no other. There is no certainty, other than the world at a distance of six feet.

In this time, ‘The Friday Poem’ returns after a few ‘fits and starts’, with ‘August’ by Mary Oliver.

We have lost spring, snug in our ‘stay at home’ place or serving on the front lines as essential workers. Summer is passing, offering the gift of a journey outside – breathing fresh air, splashing in a brook, climbing a tree, standing in the rain – away from our workplace for a moment.

Poetry and art will sustain us.

August

When the blackberries hang
swollen in the woods, in the brambles
nobody owns, I spend

all day among the high
branches, reaching
my ripped arms, thinking

of nothing, cramming
the black honey of summer
into my mouth; all day my body

accepts what it is. In the dark
creeks that run by there is
the thick paw of my life darting among

the black bells, the leaves; there is
the happy tongue.

 

Mary Oliver
American Primitive: Poems   Back Bay Books 1983

august

 

 

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