Saturday, July 23, 2005

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.

Feeling less than sharp, less than fully verbal the past couple of days. I think it's partly the weather -- we've had Excessive Heat Warnings from the weather service, dewpoints as high as eighty (they say most people start feeling uncomfortable when the dewpoint hits 65), temperatures into the nineties with typical Hoosier humidity. I keep the a/c running in the house, even though every time it cycles on I can hear the pennies (and quarters, and nice shiny Susan B. Anthony dollars...) draining from my poor bank account. Ice cream, I think, is on today's agenda. And I'm very glad I decided against going up to Indianapolis to watch the RCA Tennis Championships in person -- for one thing Andre Agassi pulled out due to injury and he's the one I most wanted to see -- and for another, sitting outside for several hours sounds entirely less than pleasant today. (I am rooting for Taylor Dent, though; I saw him practicing before a tournament several years ago, and had no idea who he was at the time but was highly impressed by this kid who was whacking the ball just incredibly hard. It's been nice to see him get his act together & start to make something of himself.)

I've managed to be pretty productive the past couple of weekends -- drafting two things-that-might-turn-out-to-be-poems each weekend -- I'm satisfied with my level of productivity anytime I'm writing at least one "keeper" a week, so this is good. Hopefully I can keep it up this weekend despite the weather.

In honor of the weather and because I've little else to say, an old poem:


Harvesting

The summer wears on
becomes overripe and malodorous.
You try not to move too much
but always something calls you,
the phone, a kid selling candy,
the water for your dinner boiling over.
Every action feels like an uprooting,
limp pale tendrils pulled through dust
and clods of dry earth.
You want it to rain.

But what you planted grows relentlessly
despite the weather,
tomatoes swell and split and fall,
zinnias grow too tall for bouquets.
In back, early windfall apples
hit the ground at odd moments,
plock, and you gather them in paper bags
but it's too hot to can or bake pies.
Every night you check
the asparagus, cut the stalks
when they're still tender,
finger high. What you miss
keeps growing, ferny and defiant.
No matter how much you harvest
some escapes you, falls free,
goes to seed.

-A.H. 1987
published in Calapooya Collage, 1988

4 comments:

jenni said...

yes--sometimes what we plant grows in spite of itself. nice work.

a keeper a week is very good imo. im lucky if that happens. for me its more like a couple keepers a month.

A. D. said...

I haven't read the post yet (though I'm about to), but I just wanted to say—love the title!

Peter said...

"It's not the heat, it's the stupidity" HAHAHA

Noe Lancia said...

Quite agreed.