Summer Solstice in the Garden

In the Garden —
Summer Solstice 2012

The longest day fades imperceptibly
drop by drop
Delineated by air conditioner fans,
wild cry of kestrel, hovering midair
Unexpected voice in urban landscape
What is rare, wild, beautiful
Not like crow’s testy commentary

Getting the balance back
personal polarities attended to
nutrition for spirit
daily practices that infuse the soul.

Olmsted-the-elder’s layers of green on green
live here under our canopy
safe and leafy havens for fireflies of early summer
beginning their nightly morse code
winking messages of light into
twilight’s tribal rising

Mother Earth gathers skirts of green
plump swaths and celebrations of newly minted leaves
emerging fully into ponderous and lush maturity

MidSummer sings her solstice reflection
in wading pool
brilliant mirror for sky, elm, candle flame

I crane my neck to catch
the final glimmers of sun-soaked leaves
at the top of ailanthus-tree-of-heaven
scooping a breeze onto the page

Blessing the kingdoms of
air and mineral,
flora and fauna,
visible and invisible,
fire and water.
Polarities in name only
That pole isĀ  just the Axis Mundi
whirling our seeming reality on a stick
spinning so fast our eyes
catch the merest glimpse
of fictional characters
hiding under hollyhock leaves

Summer’s verdant blossoming
sweet and heavy
gardenia’s flower perfumes the dusk
in currents hot and cold
across a makeshift desk in Shangri-la
Trees shed dead branches
ice melts in the tea mug
and I await the mellowed and belated darkness
Light leaching from holly and boxwoods first
then from the yellow-y green quince foliage

Dappled illumination shimmers at the bottom of the pool
Reflecting human ingenuity to light the night
And brightly colored strands bedizen a
solitary
celebratory
garden.
Shangri-la indeed.

Who are we kidding?
Celebrating the cycles of Mother Earth
rarely gets a second thought
much less holds a place in (some) human hearts

And so I close the book,
hope warring with despair
(as usual).
A fragment of the light remains
Night’s full closure not yet fully descended.

20 June 2012
Bobbye Middendorf