Though there’s barely a drop in the brooks and the creeks,
nearly dry as the open-air pools,
time’s protean arrow — today a bolero,
tomorrow a jig — soon will cause
pears and apples to fall and leaf chaos to sprawl
while the youth sit like jailbirds in schools.
Blue dragonflies dart above moss-covered ponds
and on puddles the water bugs race
as speedily streaking for prey they are seeking
near patches of soil and stones
as many an atom will, in an air stratum,
whip round its cerulean space.
Though the days still feel warm as a dog’s underbelly,
night by night the crickets get colder,
their chirps getting slower, their pitch getting lower,
till their silvery trills disappear
like the darners and birds rushing off with the words
of the whispering trees — now bolder
than tanagers, soon to be balder than buzzards.
While the daffodil eye in the sky
turns meeker and shyer — look! — higher and higher
the stars of Orion will rise.
Then when wood frogs and peepers become frozen sleepers,
they’ll know they’ve no choice but to lie
under ice and to dream as they circle a star
in a galaxy, whirling away
like a slow-spinning pail full of Newcastle ale
or the sweep of the hands of a clock
or a sunflower’s face as it swivels to chase
that light every life must obey.