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  • By Daniel Leach

Late Summer


Late summer, and the silvery undersides

Of the leaves shimmer in the hazy air,

And the cicadas’ song wells up in tides

That wash over my soul, and everywhere

The world seems as if in an opium dream,

Or born along on some enchanted stream.

Soon will these leaves feel autumn’s first cold bite,

And lie in brittle heaps upon the ground,

But they, and I, care not—the coming night

Will find us dreaming still, the drowsy sound

Of crickets will the dream-song’s vigil keep,

And lull us like innocent babes to sleep.

It was a day like this, long, long ago,

A boy lay dreaming on a grassy hill,

And felt all wisdom he could ever know,

Was in that moment—and that boy is still

Dreaming, still to that sacred song awake,

Though worlds of men and time itself forsake.


Daniel is a poet living in Houston, Texas. He has spent much of his life fighting for the ideals of classical culture and poetry. His latest volumes of poetry are Voices on the Wind and Places the Soul Goes.

2 Comments


ajsedia
Sep 05, 2022

I love late summer and its weariness that evokes the death and darkness to come. This poem does a good job of capturing that impression, but it also transcends time and place by associating the present scene with a similar scene remembered from childhood, transforming the image into an ideal.

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
Aug 17, 2022

This poem is about possessing the ability to dream, and how that precious gift can awaken the soul to a true knowledge (or 'wisdom') of the natural world around us, which contains a sacred aspect that people without dreams are beginning not to see. This is all quite Wordsworthian, and the 'opium dream' had me thinking of Coleridge, both of whom I admire very much. A fine poem! And a timely reminder to value our ability to dream in a world that is becoming more and more mechanical. Thank God for poets!

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