It’s Still Summer

Labor Day may have come and gone, but technically it’s still summer, and at 93 degrees it certainly feels like. While I’ve put away my white pants for the season, summer lingers on in poetry and pool romps. Here’s a poem by one of my favorite writers, Mary Oliver, extolling the continuation of the sunny days:




Every summer

I listen and look

under the sun’s brass and even

into the moonlight, but I can’t hear


anything, I can’t see anything

not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,

nor the leaves

deepening their damp pleats,


nor the tassels making,

nor the shucks, nor the cobs.

And still,

every day,


the leafy fields

grow taller and thicker

green gowns lofting up in the night,

showered with silk.


And so, every summer,

I fail as a witness, seeing nothing

I am deaf too

to the tick of the leaves,


the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet —

all of it


beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.


And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.

Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.

Let the wind turn in the trees,

and the mystery hidden in the dirt


swing through the air.

How could I look at anything in this world

and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?

What should I fear?


One morning

in the leafy green ocean

the honeycomb of the corn’s beautiful body

is sure to be there.

~ Mary Oliver

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