Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "At Summer's End" by John Engels





Early August, and the young butternut
is already dropping its leaves, the nuts
thud and ring on the tin roof,

the squirrels are everywhere.
Such richness! It means something to them
that this tree should seem so eager

to finish its business.
The voice softens, and word becomes air
the moment it is spoken. You finger the limp leaves.

Precisely to the degree that you have loved something:
a house, a woman, a bird, this tree, anything at all,
you are punished by time.

Like the tree,
I take myself by surprise.

--John Engels

24 comments:

Brian said...

That was very, very nice!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Autumn cannot get here soon enough!

EmptyNester said...

You always pick such wonderful poems! I was not familiar with this one but am quite grateful that I am now!

Linda said...

"Precisely to the degree that you have loved something...you are punished by time." Profound thought.

Eva Gallant said...

I look out the window and see those squirrels out there running around crazily, gathering nuts for the winter that is still some distance away, I hope!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Fall is such a combination of beauty and sadness at summer's end.

Retired English Teacher said...

Beautiful poem. I guess that is what I don't like about August; it is a reminder of how everything in this life is "punished by time."

Baby Sister said...

It means something to them
that this tree should seem so eager
to finish its business.

I liked that part. :) Beautiful poem!!

Out on the prairie said...

I am seeing some changes, like leaves and birds flocking arounf here.

Old Kitty said...

The poem is so lovely that I am taken aback by the harshness of "punished by time"!

I ought to read it again! Thanks BB! Take care
x

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Very beautiful. August is a special time. :)

Gigi said...

I was a bit surprised by the nip in the air this morning (it's really kinda rare at this point in the year; at least here) and was reminded that, yes indeed, fall is right around the corner. Summer seemed to have just zipped right by us this year (as it was trying to kill us with the intense heat!).

McGuffy Ann said...

Beautiful. I'm ashamed. I'm a poet and need to do something with it on my blog. I have a blog page for it, and neglect it.
Autumn is my favourite time, and I love trees. In fact we just planted two: a Blue Spruce and a Silver Maple to replace two lost in last Summer's tornado.
*sigh* Thanks. Think I'll work on my poetry...

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A wonderful choice of poem Betty,

Yvonne.

Ms. A said...

I'm beyond ready for cooler weather.

Unknown Mami said...

That's lovely.

Pearl said...

You can smell it. Autumn is creeping up on us.

Pearl

Daisy said...

Very pretty. I'm not ready for it to be fall yet, but the poem is lovely. :)

karen said...

A lovely on-the-cusp-of-Autumn poem. Kind of gets me in the mood.

Sush said...

Oh we are all eventually punished by time...or blessed if we can look through the soft lens...

Hugs~

Kazzy said...

Trees finishing their business. Love it!

The Empress said...

I love the poetry you find for us.

I see the squirrels scurrying around, and I wonder how they know...

Zuzana said...

Beautiful poem to end this lovely last summer month with... Oh, how I shall miss it...
Have a lovely midweek and thank you so much for your very kind recent comment.;)
xoxo

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