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Date(s) - 08/30/2018 - 09/06/2018
All Day


A last poem for August . . .

August Moon

by Robert Penn Warren  


Gold like a half-slice of orange

fished from a stiff Old-Fashioned, the moon

lolls on the sky that goes deeper blue

by the tick of the watch. Or

lolls like a real brass button half-buttoned

on the blue flannel sleeve

of an expensive seagoing blue blazer.

Slowly stars, in a gradual

eczema of glory, gain definition.

What kind of world is this we walk in?

It makes no sense except

the inner, near-soundless chug-chug

of the body’s old business –

your father’s cancer, or

mother’s stroke, or

the cat’s fifth pregnancy.

Anyway, while night

hardens into its infinite being,

we walk down the woods-lane, dreaming

there’s an inward means of

communication with

that world whose darkling susurration

might – if only we were lucky – be


Children do not count years

except at birthday parties.

We count them unexpectedly,

at random, like

a half-wit pulling both triggers

of a ten-gauge with no target, then

wondering what made the noise,

or what hit the shoulder with the flat

butt of the axe-head.

But this is off the point, which is

the counting of years, and who

wants to live anyway

except to be of use to

somebody loved?

At least, that’s what they say.

Do you hear the great owl in the distance?

Do you remember a childhood prayer –

a hand on your head?

The moon is lost in tree-darkness.

Stars show now only in the pale path between treetops.

The track of white gravel leads forward in darkness.

I advise you to hold hands as you walk,

and speak not a word.