Summer Day. by G. Louis Heath

I feel the unmown grass nettle my spine
as I lie gazing at shape-shifting clouds.
First a duck, then a boat and a bearded man
on a late summer afternoon at our cabin.
The sun arcs west intent on soon ending
this day on my tiny patch of Earth.
It is my day’s purpose I think to be here,
Earth moving under me so fast that all
is still, yet is not, emphatically not.

It may be my day’s Earth mission to feel
breezes flowing over me, to watch
our garden flowers dance to wind time,
corollas uplifted to the corona that encircles
the heliocentric mystery bestowing all life.
It may be my further and supreme purpose today
to know I cannot know the secrets in all things and,
in truth, can know no reality at all under the sun.

Perhaps today, lying on this unkempt lawn
(my dereliction of duty, I confess) beside
my wife’s flowerbeds, I am in the vicinity of
something real just outside the ambit of my senses.
It is a confluence extending into the lowest stopes
and the deepest drifts of my mind.
Unlike a mine of gold or diamonds,
I cannot unearth preternatural stones
with a Cat excavator and present them to you.
I am dealing here with something mere words
cannot transmit to paper or a computer.
Describe this sunset, beset by crepuscular
insects, perfumed by alyssum and marigold?
There is just no way I can convey this day’s me to you.

G. Louis Heath, Ph.D. Berkeley, teaches at Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa. His books include Vandals in the Bomb Factory, Leaves of Maple and Long Dark River Casino. His interests include writing poems and short stories hiking, and serving on the Clinton, Iowa Human Rights Commission. He can be contacted at