August again

August again
Several months early
As is everything else these days
Holidays, tax deadlines,
Dental appointments
Here before you know it
Dizzyingly gone before you can focus.
This blurry time of life.
But as many fine philosophers
Have always been happy to remind us
There’s blur
And then there’s blur.

August again
Blackberries as numerous
As crickets, crickets
As numerous as blackberries.
We played in the woods today
With two little granddaughters
Getting scratched and poked
In the brittle weeds
Seeking investigation possibilities
Cutting up a dried oak gall
And finding at its center
A tiny, curled up worm.
We were sorry to disturb it
(Probably extinguish it)
But it was exciting
For a toddler to look inside.
Always look inside
I told her.

August again
The pandemic still blazing away
The conscientious among us
Wearing masks everywhere
Edgily cautious
About the ever-present possibility
Of spreading infection
While the blithering narcissists
Go naked-faced
And aggressively proud
Of their patriotic defiance.

August again
Hot, hot, dry, dry
Every siren we hear
Sends shivers and jolts of alarm
Through our bodies
Pondering the ataclysmic blazes
Not that far away
As we reflect on the grave reality
Of living through
Peril after peril
Tracing and re-tracing
Our designated evacuation route
Even in our slumber
While wide-awake medicos
Do their utmost to trace contacts
In order to curtail
The rampant and inexorable dispersion
Of the current version
Of that savage contagion.

August again
Halfway to my next birthday
Which, at this rate
Will be the day after tomorrow.
Oh, sweet shiny Baby Jesus
How did I get to be 77?
Question? Complaint?
You bet.
A dear old friend of mine
Always said she would die
When she was 82
And she did
I have no such inkling
Although getting to the 90s
Doesn’t seem preposterous
But did I just jinx myself
By saying it?
Ah me,
August again.

Buff Whitman-Bradley’s newest book is And What Will We Sing? a collection of protest and social justice poems spanning the last 25 years. He podcasts at and lives with his wife, Cynthia, in northern California. Read other articles by Buff.