The golden fields shimmer beneath the blaze
of the late summer sun in cloudless sky.
Once scarlet poppies faded by the rays
to pale transparency before they die.
Along the lanes spring flowers are withered. Dry
brittle heads scatter seeds like the brown dust
which puffs up from the ground. Other seeds fly;
parachutes rising with the hot air's thrust.
In the still afternoon the cattle graze;
their youngsters nearly grown, their work is done.
The only movement in the humid haze;
butterflies seeking mates beneath the sun.
Meadows and pastures of their grasses shorn;
turned to stubble, yellow from lack of rain.
Yet now at Lammas, fields are thick with corn;
with barley, oats and wheat and every grain.
Soon to be harvested, cut down and milled
to flour; transformed to make life-giving bread.
So the offspring of Mother Earth is killed;
a sacrifice that others may be fed.
A time to work is coming; time to store
the gathered crops; to reap what has been sown.
Yet time enough to pause, be thankful for
the first of the year's harvests fully grown.
Half-opened hazelnuts and elder fruits
still green; signs of a harvest yet to come.
Immature cabbages, potato roots,
the flowering peas and beans, the swelling plum.
A little sadness as summer recedes.
Yet there is ample beauty still around.
And in the nuts and berries, fruits and seeds
the core of next years harvest can be found.