Sunday, August 18, 2013

bad sunday haiku

it is sunday, and
the insistent tap, tap, tap
cannot be ignored:

fall begins too soon
and by fall i mean that which
fells me, in more ways

than several.  in
one short week, the struggle to
retain my summer

self begins, my sense
of balance challenged, and all
i reclaim every

august i will soon
fight hard to keep--knowing well
that it's a losing,

stinking, rigged game, its
shifting parameters too
dizzying to catch.

i catch sight of my
own reflection in a shop
window: darkened skin,

faded hair, winsome
look that takes me by surprise.
that look, that,

a wild-looking thing,
like the volunteers in my
garden, the ones that

invite themselves, that
find the space that works for them
and thrive, blooming where

they land.  i bloom each
summer, a volunteer in
a strange landscape, far

from where i landed
first, decades ago and fresh
out of school.  this, then--

is this the lesson?
out of place, out of time, and
when out of season,

to seize a spot and
hold on until conditions
allow for blooming?

four o'clock on a
sunday afternoon, the light
changing as i watch,

the color of change
reflected in the yellow
coreopsis, in

lavender buds, in
the pink hermerocallis,
in everything that

bends and blooms in late
summer sun--light on my own
skin, which looks feral

in august, skin that
will fade before the first frost
takes the annuals.

this year, i take from
summer this thought: i am a
tough rebloomer, and

as fall claims me and
attempts to undo the good
works of summer, i

work my own magic,
living on the stored fuel that
august offered and

counting off the days
until coreopsis and
i both bloom again. 


  1. I love it, Greta! You are a CM treasure.

    PS: The format has a changed in a week. Has Cal had a stroke?

  2. Hope! I like hope! (and garden images, though they make me long to have a garden of my own again). May we all hang onto something from the summer battery-recharging.

  3. Contingent Cassandra, I haven't had that hope thing for a long, long while so I figured that I should write about it as soon as it turned up yesterday. -laugh- I'm also disgusted this week--with so many aspects of my job that I can't even begin to go there--but the goal for the coming academic year is to keep some balance in my life, to attempt to keep my internal garden blooming until next year's break. This new feeling of hope makes me think that I can keep breathing until, say, the seventh week (as opposed to the second or third) of fall semester. It's a start.

    1. That sounds like a very good goal. If there isn't much hope for the job, at least maintain as much hope as possible for yourself (and, if you can spare any more energy, any students who show at least some signs of promise, willingness to work, connection to reality, or something along those lines).