Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Six by Three: September Song

September Song

The air sharper, and the slant of light
more oblique. The sunrise belated,
the evening arriving ahead of time.
Yes, the afternoons still bake the blood,
the wind still ripples green grass. But
now underneath the trees the shadows
congeal, the cool breeze breathes,
leaves titter and fly. What we know,
we still know. But for how long?

Process Reflection: This is the third post in a row that has arisen out of my choice to submit myself to a very simple formal constraint: six sentences. As of August 2, I've been writing in my journal again, after gap of eight months. And that's having the effect of providing me with, well, compost. Yesterday when I sat down to my journal and wrote the date, I began with this:

September is a word, an idea, a constellation of connotations: the start of the school year, the end of summer, the autumnal equinox. If I think of my life optimistically and shoot for 80 years of relative health and productivity, then I'm just edging into September even as I write this.

So today's little poem is a sort of distillation of that idea, an attempt to bend the idea to the constraints of the form. What gave me pleasure in the writing of it were the unexpected sequences of words that presented themselves.

The picture is taken on campus, where I work. In the background, my home. In the middle, the building I work in. In the foreground, shadows in the fading light.

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