Late July

The heat even stifles the birds-

In no hurry to begin their morning chatter.

There are more nests than usual this year

But fewer eggs.

Fewer hopping fledglings. 

Maybe it’s the full moon gliding across the sky

Wearing Jupiter like a hat and filling the valley with

A gauzy glow.

I’ll have no problem seeing the deer if she trespasses 

Into the garden again. 

The rocks-chosen carefully for size and weight

Line the table beside the steaming coffee cup.

Best to drink it now, it will be too hot once the sun rises.

There was a time when a plundering doe would have left

Here on her last gallop spurting crimson where the arrow had pierced her.

Hard to remember such things with St. Francis smiling

Benignly in the moonshine under the grapes. 

But still, a solid rock to the ribs will serve as notice to 

Go and eat someone else’s tomatoes. 

They are tireless, though in their labors,

Building frantically as if a new nest, near the old one,

Will make their eggs viable. 

They couple and squawk and dive and scree, not understanding

Why none of it works anymore. 

Up on the back street Rudy’s truck slips quietly into

It’s spot under the mulberry. 

He must be back at work.

Late Figs

IMG_9198

Will the figs ever turn?

The tomatoes, a huge crop not slowed by rot or beetles,

Are gone. Sauce in the freezer and salsa in jars.

The peppers are expanding their palette,

Greens into yellows, reds into purples.

Basil is pesto, rosemary is drying and

Cardinals are noshing the sunflowers.

But will the figs turn?

They were late arriving from their winter’s sleep but

Now they’re here in numbers-small, green and hard

Needing another month of summer

That none of us get.

Even the plants in the bottom near the stream,

Whose thick resinous buds will get us through the winter

Are ready to dry and cure.

But somehow I failed the figs.

Twenty more warm nights where the stars swim in the humidity would do.

Maybe fourteen.

But not to be.

The stars are crisp in the fall evenings and the figs,

Born but not bred, will be left to freeze,

Blackening on the naked branches.

A reminder that resurrection needs luck-

As much as faith.

 

© – TDR 2019