“July Moon” from “White Cranes of Heaven”


The summer is so beautiful, despite the heat.  Last night the moon looked like a beggar’s cup, brilliant in the sky.  The days in the Deep South are sultry, but the wind picks up in the late afternoon when a storm is coming and then these huge oaks and pecans are whirligigs high in the sky.

Barley tea, iced tea and lemonade are the drinks of choice during the summer, harkening back to earlier times.  Closed drapes, blinds in the heat of noon day sun actually work to regulate the temperature , though one doubts this will.

The heat brings to life the cicadas, or whatever is making a constant buzz outside.  It comes in waves, where one group, or species, competes in sound with another.  The dogs of summer are wise: they flatten themselves on the cool tiles of the laundry room and remain motionless until the cooling of the night where they chase rats in the kudzu.  They also have developed a taste for watermelon, and we sit on the steps of the back porch and share with them, while a wood owl sounds from an huge oak above us. We never see him, but his hoots are a fixture of the summer nights.

Lady Nyo



A pale moon rises,

Unheralded, surprising us

With its presence so early at dusk.


The summer heat makes it waver

Like a ghost under water.

The cicadas hold their breath-

Their leg-fiddles muted,

And the earth turns quiet

If only for a moment.


Brushing the lush green tree tops

It floats upward into a still-lavender sky,

Gaining presence, strength, gleam

As it balances in the darkening light,

A well-trod path– fascinating eternity.


A world-weary face appears

And casts a bemused gaze downward

Before sailing through the night

Into the harbor of Dawn.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010-2015

“White Cranes of Heaven” available from Lulu.com

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