Oil On Canvas
excerpt from CITY SLICKER’S GUIDE TO THE AMISH COUNTRY
Summer is born
from the smell of turpentine and oils on canvas.
It is a portrait of honeybees laden with pollen
and the hog-nose snakes
that masquerade the lane as cobras.
It is martins in the birdhouse and bats in the attic.
Summer is the lust that lives in the loam.
of radishes, peppers, and yellow squash.
It seduces the onion
and brags about the taste of the lush tomato
that lives in the sun. The beets don’t care.
Their blood is passionate
no matter the circumstance. And the peas,
they know the truth of openness
will always come. It is the corn that listens
to the depth the carrot and potato will go
to reach the cellar.
Summer is wading
the spring fed creeks, picking cowslips
and violets to set on the table.
It is making love in a bed of purple vetch
and building castles in the cumulus clouds.
It is long days that lead to dusk when pheasants erupt
from the washes thick
with alder and pussy willow brush.
It is the ever presence of the hawk and crow, the piles of stone
from which red sumac glows
with a fire we capture
to light the barbecue. We have friends and family
potlucks of beer
and bullshit. We grill fresh perch
and trout galore. We argue
and go to war
Summer brings moths that come to the door
and beat their wings in Jesuit frenzy. Crickets
conduct great symphonies to the firefly ballet
of lightning bugs
that flicker the lawn. The sky is full
of heat lightning. The moon
looks bigger than life.
is like that. It is a glutton of gifts from God to us
and from us to our spouse and family. It is art to be hung
on a friend’s wall. It is a wish come true. Summer
is Happy Birthday.
Richard Rensberry, Author at QuickTurtle Books®
I will be at the Blue Phoenix Book Store in downtown Alpena on Saturday May 13th from 1:00 to 3:00 for a reading and book signing for anyone that would like to partake. Please do introduce yourself due to time, distance and senility. Just kidding, I still have all my faculties though I may not have had any in 1970.