August by George Bilgere

Just when you’d begun to feel
You could rely on the summer,
That each morning would deliver
The same mourning dove singing
From his station on the phone pole,
The same smell of bacon frying 
Somewhere in the neighborhood,
The same sun burning off
The coastal fog by noon,
When you could reward yourself
For a good morning’s work
With lunch at the same little seaside cafe
With its shaded deck and iced tea,
The day’s routine finally down
Like an old song with minor variations,
There comes that morning when the light
Tilts ever so slightly on its track,
A cool gust out of nowhere
Whirlwinds a litter of dead grass
Across the sidewalk, the swimsuits
Are piled on the sale table,
And the back of your hand,
Which you thought you knew,
Has begun to look like an old leaf.
Or the back of someone else’s hand.

August

I know, it’s September, but this poem captures for me some of the essence of August looking in the rear view mirror. I especially like the opening lines, Just when you’d begun to feel / You could rely on the summer. Isn’t that just how it is – feels like summer is just getting going, those warm days we’ve waited so long for and suddenly it’s coming to an end.

He has an evocative litany of sound and scent and sight associations with this time of year – we will each have our own. Then we have the day’s routine finally down / like an old song with minor variations. A splendid metaphor which feels recognizable, how we live our summer days reveling in our patterns, familiar habits that arise with the heat.

And then, the changes begin – the light, the cool gust out of nowhere, the sale table piled with swimsuits no longer wanted. He layers all this with a suggestion of aging, the autumn of our lives, how the back of your hand has begun to look like an old leaf, no longer so familiar. Yet, with all that, we still carry within us the rich ease of August into these fall months.

10 thoughts on “August by George Bilgere

  1. Thank you Janice for this beautiful poem. I love the ways he takes note of the seasonal changes of endings and beginnings.
    You are a gem and I appreciate all the joy, depth and heart you being to this site.
    Love, Trudy

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  2. Thank you – as always, I look forward to opening my email on Wednesdays – learning new poets and learning from you, Jan-poet — delightful! Today I notice “That each morning would deliver
    The same mourning dove singing” – and love the interplay of the images these lines evoke – the dawn of the Morning, lighting our new day on the outside, alongside the Mourning dove, – perhaps the heavier, darkness that mourning may bring on the inside. The co-existence of experiences of light and dark – this too delights me in its’ simple complexity…. xo

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    • The co-existence of experiences of light and dark, their simple complexity – Yes! Though we might think we only want summer and light and ease, we would not fully experience these without the contrast of their opposites – the richness of life. thank you Rena xoxo

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  3. Hi Jan,
    I love this poem, and anything that can evoke the slightly melancholy approach of autumn, and the passing of time. . .
    Thank you!
    And also thank you for featuring a couple of my poems the way you have. . . I love your site!

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  4. Thank you for sharing love.

    This sang to me:

    Just when you’d begun to feel
    You could rely on the summer,
    That each morning would deliver
    The same mourning dove singing
    From his station on the phone pole,
    The same smell of bacon frying
    Somewhere in the neighborhood,
    The same sun burning off

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  5. I love this. I struggle greatly with the doctrine of impermanence. I actually really love the changes of the beastly hot summer to the coolness of my favourite season…autumn. And so this poem reminds me impermanence is not a bad thing. That I can look for the good in change. It won’t always be as easy a find as my example. But surely I can … well, not turn water into wine, but something to that effect, Jan. 😉
    Thank you. xoxo

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