|© John Edwards|
Snuffing Out the Dead
Parched, head in the dust,
coughing out the hairball past,
the summer passed in a sequence
of hearses, rolling
black, dead brown, zebra striped with
love and loss
and the scent everywhere
of the burning dead.
The choice of what
would live or die was left
to the old nixie, fighting for
a drop of wet, picking which
would green and which would wither
her rheumy eyes lifted to a sky
that mocked her with
the blue of endless rivers.
Every day a sugarwater war buzzed
between hummingbirds and strafing wasps
till at last the killing fever dropped, the bright ball
bounced over August's wall and autumn's coat of clouds
shook out her rain. The charred fields were sponged
with jade light, snuffing the dead in malachite,
the soft breathing of grasses stronger, deeper
than the blackened ash they consumed.
Process notes: 'nixie; noun, German Folklore .a female water spirit.' dictionary.com
and credit to Ross MacDonald, for the Zebra-Striped Hearse in stanza one.
Posted for real toads
Sunday Challenge: Photography of John Edwards
John writes under the name of Scriptor Senex and has generously shared some of his photographic work with real toads. Thank you, John.
and also for
where Karin Gustafson hosts the prompt, Dog Days of Summer
Image: Photo © John EdwardsUsed with permission.