Oh, Where Did Summer Go?




I remember midsummer,

its suspended, airy plane

finding expression in lark song

and the low-toned reverie of bees,

the shadows shortest,

the gifting of reflected light upon light,

hazel-tanned skin, cool cotton frocks,

blowsy as dog roses spangling the hedgerows,

wild strawberries, clandestine orchids,

sweet nettles sucked of nectar,

the flick of buttercups against bare ankles,

meadows browsed by complaisant cows

whose ire was never piqued,

whose trust never seared,

by the odour of holocausts wafting

from the nearest steakhouse.


I remember teal-blue seas

in pearly flight, spellbound by mead moons,

breaking upon an amber strand,

clawing the glinting flint for purchase,

flecking the air with crystal spume,

capricious and copious,

pebble-dashed and lost amid

ancestral memories of Nelson's Navy.

And Scottish burns that sang of heaven

and glimmered with carat gold,

molten strontium suns capsizing

over unfathomable lochs, the ideograms

of distant yachts etched upon them.

Magnetic June, baptising June, swift-drenching

earth and air through crackling volleys,

not dry-eyed, bootless, bellyaching, as now.


I remember the airy reprieve

of exams done, free-wheeling sport,

the sound of rebound against crosshatched gut,

air-headed shuttlecocks pitched over walls,

kites resisting any contract with terra firma,

picnics in meadows without threat of trespass,

peaceful, supine, upon herb-scented grass,

puffball flotillas in the ether's ocean,

no fear of the vigilant eye of agri-business,

the barbed stiles, clamped wheels,

padlocked gates and occluded pathways,

as if briar and bramble were not enough,

the fenced off game bred for bloodthirsty pleasure.

Once, the seasons formed a respectful queue,

now, nature apes man and they are at war.

Oh, where did summer go?