Early August is the beginning of summer mellowness. Time slows, the swallows swoop, the summer lawns hiss and whisper. The full-fledged season now stretches before us. It lasts only a few weeks, but in the end, it will seem like months.
Upbeat July fades away like an old postcard; the preparation and rush to the beaches and road-trip holidays, lawn furniture and picnic hampers loaded in the trunk.… Continue reading
By Helena Minton
Shuyak Island, Alaska
Wind blows from the mainland across the Straits
over nettle-covered middens where I’ve dug
for Aleut arrowheads, unearthing
fish bones, clam shells, human teeth.
Tribes slept near these hills
and in daylight told of omens dreamed
as elk of schools of spawning salmon.
Trout broach, eagles circle overhead
yet never enter my sleep.
The south-easterlies blew overnight across Boundary Pass from the San Juans. The power went out before midnight, and we huddled in a dark bedroom that wasn’t much in the way of trees outside that might fall on us.
The sky on Monday evening was hazy, smudged, colourless. There were no clouds and no promise of a “sailor’s delight.” You could barely see Stuart and Waldron Islands through the murk.
I stood knee-deep in the water on our little beach at the foot of the cliff. The tide was unusually high. Despite several days of scorching temperatures, the water was as icy as ever.… Continue reading