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Tag Archives: September

found poem: the swell

found poem: the Sea

September, wistfully

Jonagold applesAfter the rain — yesterday’s really BIG rain — the morning earth is nearly black, the greens ultra green. In some places, September is the hottest month. But here, in our corner of Cascadia, the word Fall has found its way into many conversations. There’s a chill in the morning and evening, and leaves on the ground. I consider that it might be time to put away the fans, time for a heavier blanket on the bed, for sweaters and socks, for moving a pile of firewood nearer the back door. The garden beckons me with its autumn work, apples heavy on the tree, a last clutch of plums ready to pluck.

September’s labor…

the crabapple in January and April

We roll around through the seasons of northwest light, mornings reclaimed by darkness, evenings cinched down minute by minute, consumed by night.

I prune trees, a seasonal obsession. Each tree is a complex hairdo, a living art project. Squinting from across the yard, I target the wood that will be cut, but standing by the tree a moment later, I can no longer tell whether it’s this branch or that one, so I go back, memorize the pattern, approach again. When I find the best angle to reach a branch, the sun glares from directly behind it, so I recalculate, walk in circles craning upward.

Apologizing for my intrusion, I climb among the lichened branches of the crab apple, hair snagged and dragged from under my scarf. I’m cautious, aware of the hazards — the ladder, the saw, the trajectory of a falling branch. Nearby, a wasp tests the purple leaves but doesn’t alight. Spiders set their nets, grab at my clothes, parade across the top of my sunglasses. Sawdust rains onto their webs.

Loppers, clippers, saw, then wrestle the cut branches to the ground; they want to stay aloft. Down the ladder, up, down, walk away, turn, measure, chop twigs into the green-waste bin, circle, calculate, picture the tree naked. Up the ladder, down. The adjacent apple tree, desperate for pruning, calls to me. I don’t listen.

Parsing the sentences of branches, I edit the tree.


Caspian TernChilly mornings, warm days, cool evenings signal the end of summer with a kind of squeezing poignance… an artifact of school days, perhaps, or maybe it’s the animal’s knowing that this time out of the den, this mindless frolicking in flowers, will soon end.

Ahead of the wind, ahead of the short, dark days, this sweet nostalgia: nibbling berries, sniffing the ripening apples, tracking the sun’s journey back from the north, its migration down the Pacific flyway, with the goose and the tern, toward the safe climes of a tropical winter.
Caspian tern photo copyright © 2006, Alan D. Wilson, Nature’s Pics

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