August: Complex Fatigue

On this August evening, a sparrow flies out of the wild raspberries along my walk and startles me just the slightest. Stunned a little from its flight through the leaves and small prickles, the sparrow fumbles from foot to foot on the path and then rises up on its wings and disappears. The swifts are out, too.

A downpour has fallen and the humidity has thickened right up again. I walk through the village, and folks are hanging out on porches. A three-quarters moon hangs over the empty high school soccer field, stunning. I’d write that it’s otherworldly in its beauty — but in this slow, sticky night it’s hard to imagine a sweeter world, even this one chockfull with chaos.

In the heat, tempers are either short or silly. Tomorrow is Vermont’s primary, so much fervor, and I wonder what all that might come to. In the evening, I talk to my cat, a tête-à-tête about why he cowers at the slightest noise, as if the house might be under attack by coyotes. You’re a housecat, I remind him, one of the most pampered creatures on the planet. He looks at me, poor ignorant thing that I am, and wisely keeps his ears pressed down and low like a spooked owl.

August. Time to share again one of the loveliest poems.

The world is a 

complex fatigue. The moth tries

once more, wavering desperately

up the screen, beating, insane,

behind the geranium. It is an

immense geranium,

the biggest I’ve ever seen,

with a stem like a small tree

branching, so that the two thick arms

rise against the blackness of

this summer sky, and hold up

ten blossom clusters, bright bursts

of color.

Hayden Carruth, “August First”

7 thoughts on “August: Complex Fatigue

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