The Season of Now

Thursday the weather stood still.
People froze like wooden soldiers
bent low in their rugged tracks.
The trees wondered aloud in their creole if summer was gone,
leaving only the crows to reckon with.

Power lines bisecting the hollow maple trees on my street
pulled tighter against their moorings
anticipating winter’s load of thrumming energy
from the deep pool behind the dam.

I stand up from my table saw,
letting it whine down to a dusty stop.
The day puts its hands on my shoulders
like a basketball coach,
vibrating down through the nails
in the flooring beneath my feet.

The book bin at Goodwill calls to say
it is offering broken language at a deep discount.
I find someone’s well worn copy of Emerson
and sit down with a cup of coffee.
Suddenly the poet’s electric blue eyes
stare back at me over the inkling steam.

The storm track in the Pacific
eventually starts up again
in its steady haul up the coast,
lifting high over the Queen Charlotte islands,
scraping the last of summer’s pollen
from the tops of the fir trees
and dropping it into the electric blue
of Alaska’s Bristol bay.

–Burl Whitman

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