As I watch September nearing an end...
I think back to August and am unable to truly differentiate
For you see my friend
The temperature today is predicted to be a "cool" ninety-eight.
The crispness is not felt, but is heard in the air
it is provided by the crunching of grass beneath my feet
my lawn is to the point where I think it just does not care
I water and water until the green does meet
Talk of fall and pumpkin spice
does not interest me
Sweet tea with lots of ice
Good ol' Tex Mex is what I want to see
August and September
One month just blends in to the other 'round here
It seems to have been hot as long as I can remember
Thank God for AC - Amen, let out a cheer
I am used to the heat
and truly grateful for the winters we see
with no deep snow or cold icy mess, they just can't be beat
I am looking forward to the 70s and 80s of December and January......
I can't lie, if it happens to come in a rush, I won't mind....
Did I Ever Really Know?
In August, I remember when the sky fell in on itself
hot as a molasses running between breast and hip,
there are some moments when I dreamed on fire,
when I burned for something greater than myself,
swept up on the coattails of youthful passion.
When I think I knew more than the world,
when I was young and dumb and possibilities "endless"...
But in September the sky opened up,
cool breeze dried up sticky heat between breast and hip,
and my dreams of fire are put out by the reality
that I never burned. Not even once in my tiny life,
and those coattails belonged to a viper who wished me harm,
and the world had always known what was next.
I am now old and not much wiser,
but at least I know that possibilities do not go on forever
they can also just... end.
We've put ourselves out
at the far edge
where the light catches
of the blade
you're passing me
the Buffalo grass seed
can you smell that?
reminds me of way back
mowing down August, to September
it's that damn misty morning scent,
the yellow bus that takes us
August/September challenge @Pagesfragensage
I Think About the Roman Empire
I looked up from the history book I'd been buried in. My ma's face was peeked just inside the room.
"Hey your grandparents are here, honey," she said.
"Alright, I'll be right down."
After she left, I sighed and looked up at the map I had pulled up on my computer. I sat lost in thought for a minute or so, the images in the stories I'd been reading replaying in my mind, before laying back on the bed. The book was still open next to me.
Without meaning to, I drifted off into a dream...
I thought at first the doorway was in a candlelit chamber, floating above an alter, marble columns all around fading into shadow...
But in the next moment I was standing in a shallow pond under a gray sky, looking up at the ethereal doorway where it floated above the water. It was made of nothing, but left an undeniable impression in the air. As though I could feel it more than see it.
A procession was approaching, a line of red-garbed legionnaires flanking a shorter figure I couldn't yet see. When they came closer I saw the boy, draped in white and crowned by a golden wreath. His eyes were tired, and though he carried himself proudly, there seemed to be a heavy weight borne in his frame.
When they neared the doorway, one of the legionnaires--gray and balding--pulled the boy aside.
"Are you certain about this, Augustus? You remember what happened last time."
"I am, Gaius," the boy said. "I was brazen and malignant the last time. I tried to step through in spite and arrogance. This time I will accept what comes."
The older legionnaire nodded in respect. He then beckoned to one of the others, who approached holding a gold-trimmed wooden box.
From the box, Augustus took what looked like a small green herb. He nodded to Gaius before putting the leaf in his mouth and swallowing.
"The portal awaits, Caesar," said the aged man.
Augustus turned to the doorway. There reaching from it, ripples in the air surrounding, was a hand; the outstretched arm wore a silken silver sleeve.
The young emperor turned back to his legionnaires, now addressing all of them.
"Nothing will be the same after this day," he said. "I ask only that you stand with him in the days to come... as you have stood with me. For the wars to come are among the fiercest of any you have faced."
He looked down the line of legionnaires.
"He will need your grace."
A silence stood across the pond as the boy Augustus brought an arm to his chest in salute, and offered a bow that was slight, but bore more weight than any the men would see again.
Gaius was the first to return the salute, but all the rest followed. Augustus took the arm of each man, going down the line until the last. He then returned to the doorway, Gaius at his side. He looked into the void before him, as though somehow seeing what was beyond, before regarding the older man.
"I am complete," he said.
He reached up and grasped the hand reaching down from the doorway. The legion looked on as he was lifted into the air; with solemn eyes they watched him go beyond the veil.
Another silence stood in the air. Each of the men found that a void had appeared in his heart. Yet their salute remained.
They looked to the sky as the clouds began to darken, many wondering what terrible thing might befall them now. Nonetheless, they stood fast, keeping their eyes upon the air above.
A trembling began in the air and in the ground beneath, disturbing the surface of the shallow waters. Many of the soldiers sought their balance as the tremors grew. Eyes widened in awe at the sight before them.
A seam appeared in the air, a light pouring through, splitting the doorway in blinding rays. The split grew and a figure appeared, a silhouette distorted in the light. And as they watched, he sprang into the air, landing at the head of the legion.
The seam closed behind, and as the light from that unknown place receded, the soldiers saw that dawn was breaking. And as the sun rose behind this new figure, they looked on him in awe.
He was tall and slender, and seemed to be just on the line between boy and man. He wore a strange silver shirt and black pants, dark boots on his feet, all of a kind no legionnaire had ever seen. His skin was pale, and upon a head of dark curls he wore a silver wreath. And if they looked with a keen eye, he seemed to resemble the one who had gone before. He stood proudly, and his face was lit with eagerness and joy.
"Come and lift up your spirits!" he called. "For it is time we begin!"
Hesitant, Gaius approached him. The brightness in his countenance remained. After a moment of study, the old man too smiled, and put an arm to his chest. The others came as well.
"What shall you be called, Caesar?" Gaius asked.
The legion behind him knelt.
"Septimus," the man said. "I am called Septimus."
August was unusually warm and dry, especially for the last month of winter. There were still tomatoes growing on the plants that draped over the garden bed. Untouched by frost. Bees buzzed around the backyard, making the most of the few flowering plants, which persevered through the cooler months. I allowed myself to rest, to sit in the sunshine, gazing out at the natural world. I gave myself permission to just be.
To notice how the days were growing longer and the evenings were gradually stretching out - heralding the changing seasons. In the cold and dark of winter, I had planted many small seeds of change - burying them deep within my subconscious. Seeds of self-acceptance, compassion, creativity, bravery, self-awareness. Seeds of healing.
As August drew to a close and birds started courting, I felt them begin to stir.
Spring announced itself in dramatic fashion, with a blistering heatwave. Hot, dry wind swept across the dusty ground and the sun baked away the last few hints of moisture. Storm clouds gathered, but the longed-for rain fell elsewhere - offering no relief. I pulled out the hose, watering the garden every few days as I gazed hopefully up at the sky.
My days were spent nurturing seedlings, pulling weeds and writing. Sad stories from my childhood, love letters to a handsome French sailor that I would never send and playful rhymes that masked the inner turmoil behind my words. I walked through the bush, dwarfed by the towering trees, glad to feel small and fragile.
The heat intensified. Smoke drifted lazily through the air and for the first time in three years - I feared the coming summer. La Nina had paid a long visit, coaxing many seasons of frantic growth. Now El Nino was back and everything was tinder, just waiting for a spark. Windy days fuelled the fear, the threat of wildfire looming. Not if, but when.
Many people long for summer. I just long for it to be over.
You Aren’t Welcome
August she loved me. In August, she carefully kissed the marks indented by careless mouths.
In September, she bites into the dents and tears away a part of me before she leaves just so I can watch the blood turn stale as it trails after her-- so I can forever remember the carnage.
It is unbearable, as I watch wide-eyed like a scared child clutching my teddy as someone's callousness infects me. I wait like a beaten dog, for her return.
But September is cold-- and I grow to be the same. Where tufts of hair were ripped away, is shrapnel flesh.
When the summer kissed my skin and I smelt of coconut and harsh perfume, nothing was sweeter.
In September, the air tastes like gunpowder and honey.
It's my shot I fire, when you come limping back under the autumn's chill twisting your joints.
It is my smile-- poisonous and vile. I hope it eats away at you.
Breaks of August
I remember how in what we refer to as the old time days, I as a child would play with others like me in the August's season's summer sun.
The yard that resonated with giggles and games like hide- and-seek, cricket, football or catch. That's the August I knew the days of time past. That's the long of it and the short is the period of September where the days of school and early to bed early to rise would start up on-going for months again till another break would swoop in.
In the last few days of lingering summer heat I finally completed my first journal. Around fifty entries over a hundred pages took just over four years to fill. I had expected to be on my third or fourth by now, but I've never been great at judging distances. Measurements of time or space or even the emotional distance between me and my friends all seem fuzzy to me; it all exists within the tiny distance between my ears. Maybe twenty centimeters?
Time is perhaps the most difficult to judge. I'm 25 now. I started my journal at 21. Four years is not an adequate description of the distance between the present and the time when I started my journal. It says very little to me about the connections between one period of time and another. I have always been 25, and I have always been dreading the steady passage of time.
Early last year, my two beloved roommates informed me that, in a month, they would be moving away to different places. In my mind, I was supposed to live in that home — or at least with those two people — for much longer. Upon hearing the news of our impending disbandment, I disappeared. I interacted very little with anything in the last month of living with my former roommates; I only went to work and when I got home I mostly stayed in my room while distracting myself. I did not look for new places to live or try to cherish the last few precious weeks of living with my chosen family. I had ceased to exist. The time came for them to leave and I have not seen or heard from them since.
In early August, I moved in to a tiny room in a house full of strangers. I had only meant to take around two months at the most to find a place to live, but my partners graciously allowed me to live at their home for over four. There is only one short journal entry within those four months when I lived in a different country and with new people, and the single entry was about my two former roommates.
A week ago, in mid September, I suddenly reappeared back in my city with a completed journal and living in a tiny room in an old part of town. I reappeared with aspirations and some plans for the future. I want to start writing more. I have always wanted to. There are so many things to start doing. First, I should buy a new journal.
August and September
I wish I could have told myself:
you'll marry someone born in September.
When it was August in college
and there was a three week stretch
of ninety plus degree days
before the new school year
and my pajamas were stained
with boys making mistakes
and sweat that kept coming
like the tears that tattooed my face
because it was endless, and the feelings
were permanent, a reminder of what had been
and what would become my illness.
I wish I could have told myself:
you'll be a writer.
when I was presented
someone forcing themselves
to be their own demon
and I had to be saved
by someone who later
decided not to survive
the mundane of the every day
or any day.
August smells like her
the perfume in her apartment
the summer she saved my life.
August smells like the rain
evaporating off the sidewalks
in New England
after a thunderstorm
the humidity too much
to contain any of us.
I don't tell people she saved me.
That in August, we went for drives
in my Prius
and sang songs that I still listen to
though sometimes they hurt.
That when I was faced with issues
she said I could stay with her.
That there are ways
to be free of those
who would hurt us.
She died in August of
the next calendar year,
and I remember calling my parents.
September came and it was
still stagnant with death.
But there's something
to the notion
I knew her face
in all my ambitions, dreams,
the sun setting earlier
than it had before.
it was okay to not be okay
and for that I thank her.
Do you remember that September?
Of course I do
Do you remember that August?
You know it too
Going out to bars, warm and sweaty, the summer air sticky and electric with energy
Dancing in the grass, chasing after stars and friends who've taken too many drinks
Celebrating our results day, the long summer, the long year stretching out in front of me
The prospect of never going back to school, not never, not ever
And September, it rolls round again. A whole year since I've seen you, my dear
Back to study, back to work, a new world of students and societies and socials opening up around me
Where will I be this time next year, next summer, next August?
Its hard to see
But I'll still be here
And that's good enough for me