North of Waking – by Phocas

What pouring forth now at the lyrical edge of summer and the ferns burning down to golden and always a tender ache somewhere north of waking and the long, unbroken chord of cicadas constant in their strident note they lay bare the one naked truth in a raw polyphony of barb, what gushing, flowing forth from the spring-fed streams of the heart that seep into the four directions and the four seasons and the great sorrow of tears that seeks to renew the earth one shed leaf and broken wing at a time though they are long past flowering and flight as here I am struck and astonished in middle age and more a boy than ever in the August of my years, and how I wish to be different somehow beyond this mortal clay for somewhere close I hear the sighing breeze of ever after or maybe it sings in me in the first breeze of autumn and I tremble, and all this beauty stored up inside starting to spill out from every pore, one stream after another after another where I go to become wild again, wild always, and what beating words in a sacred hoop and drum and all I know is skyward and mists lifting gently from banks of cedar trees in such clean breathing and then at night watching meteors fall as a child of awe once more and how those burning orbs were so silent in their falling they sprinkled down a kingdom of hush, and then moonlight in a cup of coffee, moonlight as a wavering, silvery reflection and how such shining goes, and the blessed cicadas and lone cricket sounding from the woodpile in sweetest but also bitterest melancholy of August I have come to love so well for what is here and what is already faded and already passing away, the rolls of hay already taken from the fields weeks ago, the first frost a month away or so, the grasshoppers pogoing into the streams and rivers to the eager mouths of rising fish, even the wrinkles in my face deepening and darkening in the gloaming by firelight, what streams and veins of tributaries, what tiny creeks and waterfalls no bigger than a woman’s cupped hands, what humble cisterns to wash and bathe our bodies and our souls, what little pools and eddies, what ever after again and again and again, dripping down and soaking into the sacred skin of the earth.

Phocas lives in central Michigan.