The Stillness of the Summer Solstice

A collection of poems by Lawrence “Mack in Texas” Hall

The Stillness of the Summer Solstice

I picked a few plums in the summer heat
Some withered apples in the summer heat
A bouquet of zinnias in the summer heat
The figs still green in the summer heat

I gathered blueberries in the summer heat
I dragged water hoses in the summer heat
I mowed the lawns in the summer heat
I fed the hummingbirds in the summer heat

Summer is the season that seems to stand still
And I don’t

Anticipating the Fourth of July

Our Republic has become a chaos of crime:
Riots and arson, shootings in the streets
Infotainhate programmed in angry loops
Mass murders of children by men in white coats

Honoring our freedoms by silencing each other
Pulling down statues and purging our thoughts
Through strident influencers behind their screens
Censoring books and art and even love

With drugs and guns and all such progressive things
(But at least we’re free of those bad ol’ kings)

Trousers, Gentlemen, Trousers!
“There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?'”
“The mood will pass, sir.”
― P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters

Had you visited the post office today
You might have heard an elderly man say
(After opening his newspaper, by the way)

“Trousers, gentlemen, trousers”

For there in black and white, on the front page
Was pictured each and every schoolboard sage
Attired in shorts, in deference to the age

“Trousers, gentlemen, trousers”

While one appreciates our volunteers
Who serve our schools for free (let’s give them cheers)
The vision of old men’s legs must lead to jeers

Their veined and wrinkled knees – is this a tease?
“Trousers, gentlemen, trousers – please!”

In the Season of the Perseids

Most people find beauty in everything:
An old Peterson’s pipe, crickets, Irish coins
Fire trucks, fountain pens, a favorite old book
Cattails growing in ditches along the road

Short strings of words that breathe and sigh as songs
Sunflowers fainting in the afternoon
A treefrog pulsing on the windowpane
Ladybugs drowsing on a tomato leaf

Even so, how hard it is to feel beauty
In late July’s wearying, withering heat

At Noon, After Mowing

I sat in the shade and mended a hose
A water hose whose fittings had parted ways
And on the grass some mockingbirds and jays
Argued and shrilled – but why? Nobody knows

I cut away the plastic (hecho en China)
And fitted brass (hecho en Mexico)
For repairs that is the best way to go
To make a hose secure – what could be finer?

And what could be finer than to sit a while
In the dreaming shade? Yes, that’s my style!

Warriors and a Warrior-Princess

Jason and his Argonauts fitted out a ship
And sought and fought for the Golden Fleece

Beowulf and his warriors fitted out a ship
And sought and fought for the glory of the Geats

Odysseus and his warriors fitted out a ship
And sought and fought for the glory of Greece

Aeneas and his warriors fitted out a ship
And sought and fought for the glory of Rome

My daughter and I fitted out some floaties
And conquered the backyard swimming pool

What do you think?

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