Broad August burns in milky skies,
The world is blanched with hazy heat;
The vast green pasture, even, lies
Too hot and bright for eyes and feet.
Amid the grassy levels rears
The sycamore against the sun
The dark boughs of a hundred years,
The emerald foliage of one.
Lulled in a dream of shade and sheen,
Within the clement twilight thrown
By that great cloud of floating green,
A horse is standing, still as stone.
He stirs nor head nor hoof, although
The grass is fresh beneath the branch;
His tail alone swings to and fro
In graceful curves from haunch to haunch.
He stands quite lost, indifferent
To rack or pasture, trace or rein;
He feels the vaguely sweet content
Of perfect sloth in limb and brain.
~William Canton “Standing Still”
I admit I flunked sloth long ago. Perhaps I was born driven. My older sister, not a morning person, was annoyed that even as a toddler I awoke chirpy and cheerful, singing to myself and ready to conquer the day.
I can’t say that is still the case but it’s close and still annoying to those who have to put up with me.
Even so, I’m not immune to the attractions of a hot hazy day of doing absolutely nothing but standing still switching flies. I envy our retired ponies in the pasture who spend the day grazing, moseying, and lazing because … I work hard to make that life possible for them.
August was invented for lulling about. Maybe if I try hard enough, I’ll get a passing grade.