Sunday, 27 July 2008

Haggling with the sun

When we were teenagers, Norah used to write poems as an offering to the wind so it wouldn’t mess up her hair.
At the moment, I am sweltering. It is hot. The heat is pressing down on me, making me feel like a sandwich in a grill. I expect the apocalyptic visions to strike me at any moment, splatters of molten lava bubbling through the fireplace grate. It’s been well over a week now, with no change in sight. And I am torn because the show starts on Thursday and it would be cruel of me to ask for cooler weather when any rain would hinder the performances, but…surely we must be able to reach some kind of compromise.
It’s worth a try…

Summer In The Hay Fields

The men chose the day
for its dry heat
the grasshoppers chiming

our family worked together
over uneven ground
where evaporative tongues
grew tall like weeds

while far away the sun was born
into a blue wasteland
its feverish body raging
for some long forgotten reason

ocean salt pumped
out of our skin
and the tides of our blood
drew the manic horseflies

who bit our burning necks
leaving red rivulets
which we smeared
with our damp palms

the deep afternoon
and the air quickened its friction
as if to create a spark
that would set the sky on fire

we hurried then
stacking bales amidst
the sudden hush
of windless expectation

thunder is like a shout
blended with a burp
the black cloud on the horizon
a blob of burnt dough

the last bale, the last rake
and the first hailstone
to mark the transition
into blessed, violent relief

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