Monday, July 25, 2011

Dies Caniculares

Image borrowed from Bing

Dies Caniculares

The solar demigods smiled as
the stifling, sultry, sweat-smeared
king of dog days arrived;
when triple digits soared arrogantly,
when house cats and dogs went mad,
when the ocean frothed like something rabid,
when fruit jars burst apart and juice soured,
when pet birds lie in a stupor
in the bottom of their brass cages,
when red rashes rose like hordes of chiggers,
devouring flesh from ankles to ear lobes, when
thirst could not be slacked, only teased, when
migraines inhabited cortical caverns, when
colons were agitated into their spin cycle, when
strong women broke out in fevers and vapors,
when kind men used bestial growling as
their only means of communication, when
children at play became suddenly hysterical,
when birds flew blindly into windows and walls,
when house flies procreated in your pudding,
when foxes appeared in packs from the shadows,
when even great eagles flew hungry pushed
ever higher by voracious thermals;

and that night when it cooled down to a hundred,
when Sirius blazed on the crown of Canus Major,
sleep became illusive, a coy specter hiding
in the steamy folds of sweltering sheets, forcing
people to rise and prowl their premises, shaking
with alacrity, barely comprehending that sleep
was not their ally, for it might mask something evil
in the broom closet, underneath the stairs,
in the tool shed, the guest room, the basement,
or even an undiscovered heat demon
existing in the ethereal aura of who
they once believed they were; something
blood red, coiled, and anxious to bolt.

Glenn Buttkus

July 2011

Listed as #42 over on Magpie Tales 75

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Tess Kincaid said...

Okay, I am itching now and anxious to bolt these dog days of summer. I consider fall my personal spring, when I am reborn; so, I am counting the days till October.

(love the part about the colons in spin cycles)

Ann Grenier said...

A poem perfectly matched to these abominable days. Sadly, perhaps they influenced the timing of that mad murderer to commit his horrific acts as well.

Reflections said...

I think everyone is ready to bolt beyond the abominable dog days of summer, or at least this heat and its voracious nature.

Dave King said...

I was already impressed, but that last stanza shot it into outer space! Impressed beyond words.

Paul Bauck said...

"Sultry, sweat-smeared King of dog days"? In western Washington! Say it isn't so.

Love the imagery in this poem.

Morning said...

lovely imagination,
you could be right.
love your magpie.

Joan Tucker said...

in the cool of washington I read this and remember scorchers.. endless heat, draining, exhausting you captured it in aces. wow. Joan T