Another August in Southern California

Sat, 10/29/2016 - 18:27 -- taa1542

Longtime residents, not as rare as natives,

Not as rare as the August blue moon,

Blazing twice now in the last three years,

Tend to forget the speed with which August races by:

Even the spectators—students, teachers, and others

Graced with long summer vacations—marvel

That yesterday, it seems, was July, and tomorrow

Begins Labor Day weekend, with just a blur

Of heat, visits to the beach, dips in the pool,

Backyard barbecues that reek of carne asada,

Sweet cobs of corn charred, dipped and seasoned on a stick,

And an occasional movie night or TV binge-watch

All happening somewhere in the fleeting interim.


My favorite aunt passed in August, the month

Of my mom’s and my wife’s birthday, our

Wedding anniversary, no national holidays,

But every day is like a holiday because

Summer itself is in full bloom:

Passions blaze, fires rage, dog days ignite killers,

And lovers embrace in the frenzied forgetting

Of life’s ever present pressures and hostilities, letting August,

When cats and dogs pant in the heat,

Suburban streets radiate visible waves of swelter,

The ocean pounds rocks and shorelines

And lifts surfers, who bob like buoys

As they wait to catch a ride;


When Steely Dan play the Bowl and Beck the Greek,

Performing to giddy audiences decked

In shorts and tank tops, guarachas and flip-flops;

Yeah, letting August tell us that life may be brief

But worth it, even though school starts next week,

Another water main has burst and there's no rain

In the forecast, but, hey, it looks like the Dodgers

And the Angels could both make it

To the playoffs this year.


August in Southern California, the month

By which we count, or recount, our days

Lit in splashed colors of crape myrtle and bougainvillea,

Scented with jasmine, gardenias and tuber rose,

Hiking, swimming, eating, crying, dancing

And laughing away our drunken, fortune-laden lives.


This poem is about: 
My community


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