No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
On either side, smitten as with a spell
Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
A silken web from twig to twig. The air
Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.
~Lizette Woodworth Reese, “August” from A Branch of May: Poems by Lizette Woodworth Reese
August suspends me timeless. There is little that is new on the horizon, only a fading and withering of that which is already spent. The carefully woven web frays and shreds, the blossom wilts, the dawn flares in, the twilight flames out.
I wake to dry stillness – no wind, no bird song – the suspense of waiting and wondering what is coming next.
I prepare as best I can: today I gather. Today I waste no time.
~Robert Herrick “To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time”