August and after

August lacks the willpower to hold its breath
through a summer storm. No, the gusts
of a petulant season mark time
on our window, the rhythm of rain soaking me
to tranquility even in the face of ferocity.

Red-faced & resolute, even summer must end —
I see its breath, I see the wind, I see
the trees return to repose as the sky blues again.

We all have endings but with a pilgrim’s optimism
I start on another page of this diary, determined
to find more white sheets have been inked
in the months that fall somewhere
behind a summer storm’s last howl.


The morning starts with yes
wrapped in the smell of dawn

as it sheds the night
star by star

A no always stings
the throat & those sheer curtains
are so inviting

The moon reflects
on the day star by star

We say yes

The tempest

The tempest brought more
than rain, sprinkling magic
on marble-topped memories
that called from a dream
still shipwrecked. The sun tries
to break the spell but hope
flourishes in the light & she enjoys
showing off her tan. Though the tide
may wash visitors ashore or pull
other spirits out of a hat, she drinks
me in wearing tails.

In the wind

We sing along with the wind
as it pampers our skin, seasoned
from days in the sun. The leaves
rustle in accompaniment
as if the evening knew the rhythm
already. Perhaps
it merely borrows the tune
from us,
breath tied together on the breeze.

With the tides

The sea is high again
today, with a thrilling flush
of wind that circles us
like the willows that weep
around the lines we draw
in the dirt.
She wears
her wrinkles when she smiles
to remind me the world
circles heavenly bodies
in its own time.

The tide
goes low if we wait long enough
& still the stars circle her
hair dancing on the air
so we wade deeper tomorrow.

She swims

She swims in the air, afloat
but not adrift, aloft but
not aloof. She moves
with purpose, as if her lungs inflate
from helium only she knows
is there.

She swims & swims

swims among the oceans
of clouds whose undertow
pulls west where she can find
her fortune

swims but never loses
her way as I hang from a constellation
growing larger with each stroke.

Life is a neighborhood

where trees stand on the edge of memories
& guard property lines

where adults provide more shade
under well-worn baseball caps

where each day starts with yes
even if the sun hasn’t stumbled
into view yet

where the smell of mowed grass cuts faraway
scenes to its perfect height

where nearly everything that has happened
is in the past

or tucked neatly beneath the surface
under a wide-brimmed hat

where the shade is alive & she whispers
because the lights are on.

In the wind

the wind closed its eyesleaves, movedby my pleas, turned to faceme I blinked & there she wasanother glass of wine barkingin her hand, stemcool like bathroom tiles I can’t seeI ask for one more gustbefore she leave s © 2022 | Phillip Knight Scott Written for dVerse’s Eyeing the Quadrille #147

In the window

I’ve always had thrift store mannequin
fashion sense though I display
a bit more modesty. I’ve kept things
hidden under designs of all sorts of noises
for so long, a turtle making plans
in the dark.

She has me peaking
out of my shell, sticking my neck farther
to where the air tastes new like
simple syrup in the sun. The patterns
shine in the light, or maybe
that’s just me.

Still the mannequin
changes clothes in the window & she
keeps urging me on.

From the bridge

Sometimes I think about the ocean —
sour water that whispers honey
to coasts spread too thin. What mysteries
swim below the surface,
below sea level, below even the light?

We prefer to stay dry, to permit the water
into narrower gaps
magnifying the depths until we see
ourselves colored in light even
from this height. In the distance

I see clouds slide down the sky
like white petals to reveal their own
vibrant secrets in wispy voices
that splash in the ocean & submerge
without another thought.

Sometimes I wonder what the ocean thinks
about me — drawing breath
like arrows from a quiver but never falling
off this bridge as we cross into
all the sun will allow.

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