On Hold

These long July days

Turn the brush to tinder

Under the bending alders

The rain never reaching

Roots dying of thirst 


Vine maples already

Begin to blush in the heat

Bleeding red leaf into stem

As though a fire’d been lit

At the kindling’s edge


Soft thunder rumbles

From a distant horizon

Where thunderheads pile

Playfully on each other

Like volatile lovers


Life is itself on hold

Waiting for rain or fire

Rain to maintain what’s been

Fire to seed what’s to be

In unsustainable time


About Peter Notehelfer

I'm a retired people person who now finds the time to watch the little details of the world without worrying about being watched by anyone . . . I live on an Island north of Seattle with my wife named Ellen, a yellow dog named McGee, a yellow cat named Gatzby, and four fine chickens . . . I read fiction, bake bread, smoke salmon, and fish whenever the weather allows . . . Oh, and yes, I try to write a poem every day simply to avoid senility!
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