STILL, QUIET DAY

The day is still, this still day
This still, quiet, overcast, near drizzling day
It doesn’t feel like late summer, nor early fall
Just a pause, a cessation in turmoil
Chaos suspended, quiet, all day quiet, striking quiet in my life
Relief I can’t fully breathe in
I heard children playing outside, today
I drove through the overcast, quiet day, running errands
Swedish Crepes at IHop, a new SIM card for my iPhone
I don’t feel the season, but endure the heat
My apartment is hard to sit in with but a floor fan
It appears they evicted the gang from my condo complex
There is plywood behind the shut-up sliding glass balcony door, windows
I don’t see that guy who threw things and hollered obscenities all night
Hip-hop blaring from his apartment at 3AM, now boarded up
The Asian family next my apartment must have moved in with relatives
We parked on the street since he broke into Hans’ Dakota pickup, twice
I don’t know if I can recover to the way things were
Not after all that, the way things had been, the way things are
Though not for me, now, but for someone, the police
I don’t know what to do with this quiet

SUMMER

I don’t want to write poetry today
It’s summer
We get only two months outdoors
Letters are for indoors
There will be plenty of time for poetry
Plenty of time for lamp-light reading,
Writing
Summer has my mind quiet
It’s all action in summer
And a mellowed-out placid in the heat
I don’t want to think
And I don’t want to write poetry when I’m not thinking
Winter is for thinking and writing and reading
We have so long winters

FLOWERS AND SUNGLASSES

The colors of the patio flowers don’t show
When I look at them with sunglasses
The brilliant, dark violet petals almost glow
When I’m not wearing plastic, tinted lenses

They attenuate the light, which is good
When I’m driving in bright sunlight somewhere
Or in a parking lot eating fast food
With a slurpy, leaning against my car

When I’m blinking in summer sunlight
Sunglasses let me get most things done
Except when Nature’s singing to my sight
And flowers display the world made by the sun

SUMMER: SEASONS BLEEDING INTO TIME

BARED SKIN

Lying on the raft, anchored out from the beach,
Which floats upon icy-cold summer Lake Superior
I would bake in the Upper-Peninsula Michigan weak summer sun
Until the surface of my skin felt hot
Plunge into icy Lake Superior
Feel the bracing, cold water against my heated skin
The sensual feeling, my skin become my consciousness
My consciousness, my skin
In the deliciously chilling Lake Superior water
Dove under water over all my made frigid skin and face.
I climb back up onto the raft and bake off the chill
In the summer Upper-Peninsula Michigan sun
Repeating at my leisure through the passing week-end summer afternoon

We like bright summer sun’s heat on our skin,
Basking as bare as we can in its rays,
And the general warm summer air.
Summer cools into fall, fall freezes into winter.
Who enjoys winter’s brace upon our barely exposed skin?
Extraordinary stimulation excites my sense
Like chill Lake Superior water
Or heat of the sun on bared summer’s body
Or brisk, crisp air in winter’s bite on the barely exposed face
My sensuous face embraces icy air’s welcome winter brace
As much as sensual summer’s pleasant bake on my skin
Or the years that came at me in this early adulthood
When it all lay in front of me and I was ready to take it on
My future my consciousness, my self making my destiny
But I didn’t know it at the time nor even through much of my adulthood
And now, among fall’s gold and russet colors, I think of coming icy air again