"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Sunday, August 2, 2015

August is Upon Us

     Here, on the mixed grass prairie, August is the month of endurance.  The battles we waged in July, to save the gardens, the young trees, some illusion of 'all is well', are over, once Caesar's month strolls around the corner. Cicadas still buzz and rattle in the treetops and a few fireflies continue their circuit through the Ash and Soapberry trees along the lazy creek. The frog families have earned the prize this year for their ebullient choruses, rain or no. They are so, so delighted to be alive and hopping.

     My vegetable garden struggles with the heat, as do I.  I carry tomatoes and squash cool drinks in the evenings, once the sun as slipped past the horizon.  In return they give me lunch and a blessing: the ancient scent of tomato vines. This morning I found a large tomato hornworm working his way along one stiff branch. Then I found another, and another…an invasion.  It reminded me of this little poem I penned a few years back.

Where are you, tomato worm,
stripes and spots that gnaw and squirm, 
and that one fierce horn atop,
where can you be hiding? 

Where you've been is plain to see,
naked stems with knobby knees
but you my friend are still, or gone.
I'm looking but not finding. 

Summer bore no fruit at all,
too hot, too long, but now 'tis Fall 
and yellow blossoms arch and sing,
Dame Nature still is trying.

Is that worm or curled leaf?
You are so clever, little thief.
You are there and watching me,
this is some trick of lighting.

Ah, there you are, my striped friend,
writhe and wiggle, twist and bend,
I do not fear your painted horn,
although you wrap it round me.

You'll get no wings with which to fly,
sad to say, and here is why,
before these vines are white with frost,
I wish to taste tomato.

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