SOLSTICE LAMENT

I never noticed shadows so long
That played against the bright sunlight in a strobe effect
At 8:30 PM this longest day of the year
Driving home after the outdoor concert in a parking lot
The tree shadows against the sunlight rapid
Driving me into nearly an altered state of mind
But I had to stay in this world, as I was on the road
And the natural strobe effect could have disastrous
Consequences if I didn’t keep my mind on the road
It was no time to notice the eerie light
Almost another dimension, maybe so to Druidic Salisbury Plain
And the Stonehenge alignments break sunrise through
Enigmatic megaliths and over the heel stone only today
I’d build a monument to such another dimension of light
I wish my city had some way to reverence the Solstice
That I had some way to reverence it
That my church had some way to reverence it
So there would be more than a natural strobe effect
On my consciousness driving among blacktop and trees.
And that’s it.  Me noticing strange shadows playing against sunlight
At 8:30 PM, driving on the blacktop road

“Great God I’d rather be a pagan suckled in a creed outworn!”

But I’m not.  Driving home, after the parking lot concert,
In bright sunlight at 8:30, noticing eerie, long shadows—
The longest I’ve ever observed before playing against the sunlight.
Too much science, too much technology, too many quotidian days,
Only small print on a wall calendar announcing the first day of summer

BLACKTOP AND LILAC FLOWERS

I left reading The Book of Songs, compiled by Confucius,

On the wooden patio, its planters filled with small flowers

Bright purple, dainty white and purple, daisies, deep red

Like the Nature imagery structured through the Odes

Plum flowers, boughs with peaches, reeds picked by pools

On islands in the Yangtze River; measuring the hours of night

By the passing of stars through the sky, which places humans

In the still of Nature reverence, persisting yet from China’s antiquity

Driving away from the wooden patio, that June night when, at 9:30,

The sky was blue and in the west yellow-golden with the sun still up

The street’s blacktop clashed against the violet scent of lilac flowers;

Oaks decorated concrete sidewalks, rising steel and glass office buildings

Parking in a lot past downtown by the train tracks, I faced two billboards

Looked past the tilting chain-link fence to the clashing billboards—

The pinkish, tomato-soup orange Vizzy hard seltzer billboard against

The red CIBC Bank billboard, though some texts may call them

Complimentary colors, the pinkish, tomato-soup against red billboards

Eating my Quarter-Pounder, I couldn’t see the lady pick reeds by pools

Looking at the weeds, the tilting fences, the billboards by the parking lot

Facing the train tracks, nor at the municipal park, either, I drove to

And pulled over to let a screaming ambulance pass me, that had to cross

The centerline into oncoming traffic and a guy wouldn’t stop his car

To let the ambulance through, on my way; the municipal park circled

By a blacktop road, with pavilions and restrooms for picnickers

The stillness from Confucius’ Odes took me to the wooden patio,

The tiny flowers in the planters secluded by means of wooden planks

Composing the privacy fence—despite pink noise from the exhaust fan

Of the nearby brick restaurant—I picked reeds by pools with the lady

On an island surrounded by the rough Yangtze River, it was dark, now