Today is Flitch Day in England. As in “side of bacon”. I had no idea bacon had its own day. Seems appropriate that it should fall in the middle of the Dog Days. (No, I’m not fond of bacon. Nor does it ever agree with me.)
Today also marks the end of the care-free days of summer for me (not that I really know what that means). This weekend brings Bilberry Sunday, the last Sunday in July. This is the day when it’s customary to climb mountains, gather sweet fruits, and bury summer under the glaring sun. Crom Dubh, the Dark Crooked One, is on the ascendancy. So, as I only have Mondays and Tuesdays to dedicate to such things, I put Summer in its various bins and boxes and dug out Harvest.
The harvest season starts in two weeks with Lammas, the festival of the first loaves, which is also the beginning of Lughnasadh, the Games of Lugh, when it’s time to gather for fairs and contests and merriments of all sorts. This is my favorite time of the year. Beyond summer! And I have the perfect poem for today.
I believe I may have posted this in April, but I can’t find it. At any rate, it is timely now. And I think it’s good enough to go twice.
i am beyond summer now but not yet in winter’s grasp yes, beyond summer i am beyond casual fecundity and lazy green opulescence under a wandering equatorial sun i have no need of daisy chains of glorious pink ribbons because beyond the summerlands am i oh yes, i remember those days of heat remembrance and honour accordingly given for within time one can only go through and days stacked upon days lead to beyond and i am beyond now i am beyond summer into the world of gold yes, silver, pink, green and gold and back again to silver is the wheel but i am beyond green, just gilded in all the joys of autumn and the sorrows for do we not bedeck bowers in bittersweet beyond summer and such sweetness such are the dulcet days beyond summer all golden afternoon and horn of plenty and the breathless merriment of gathering such luscious days of saffron and mead but even such as these, keenly edged in pale regret for summer is blind in its verdant lethargy spring is innocent and ignorant but autumn yes, autumn knows winter only too well i am beyond summer this day but not this day in winter’s grip just beyond summer and with the fall of leaves i am no longer blind all the riotous golden pageant of these days is buttressed by a silver silence so complete it breeds fierce desire i know for i am beyond summer now these autumn days these glowing golden autumn days, i know are a vain pursuit gaily gathering dry leaves from the wind still i cannot but smile even amidst these strident tears for these golden days beyond summer these golden days of fruited dreams the days of harvestland are the consummation of being i am beyond summer now and so all this i know this day yes, you may believe in spring live to yearn for lost youth you my lie complacent in the summerland not agitating green thoughts beyond bouquets but i i live for the golden days i know silver follows soon still i am beyond summer now and my desires are ripe and golden
©Elizabeth Anker 2021