Poetry by David Filer

Dedicated to The Imani Project

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August is Why

There’s a certain Slant of light...

Emily Dickinson, Poem #258


Don’t take too much from

a still Spring evening.

There have been others.


Spring is like that:

at first it takes one’s

breath away, the eyes


see nothing but love’s

object.  Not love even,

that comes much later.


We’re talking about

desire, and desire—

as it comes to all—


is like a still Spring

evening, the held warmth

of it, the silence


just this side of rage.

We don’t want to talk

about rage in the same


breath as Spring, it goes

against tradition,

against the silence


that comes before tears.

Talk instead about

the drifting thistle


seed, one of many.

Talk instead about

the cedar waxwing,


in the backyard ash

tree.  Something’s going

on, there’s even been


some rain, and August

has crept in on us,

insects fill the air,


behind them, pastel clouds

picking up the last

sunlight of the day—


August already,

in its hot splendor—

already, when we


were talking about

Spring, talking about

desire, as if it were


love, or something as

small as the cedar

waxwing in the ash,


and silent, like rage,

and August is why

there will be Winter,


just visible now

in the curling brown

edges of the leaves,


in the slant of light

through the pastel clouds.

Don’t take too much from


a still Spring evening,

and don’t talk about

desire, or love, or


that one thistle seed

drifting across…and

don’t talk about rage.


(published by The Café Review)


—David Filer