Summertime and Spirituality - Shawnee Zyskowski

Summertime & Spirit
Shawnee Zyskowski
The grass is long in the July hayfield, reaching towards the bright summer sun. The clover is short and soft with fat, purple blossoms that weigh down the ends until they curve back to the ground, like a yoga position. The Alfalfa is tall and thinner, with tiny leaves of deep emerald, and tinier flowers in violet clusters. The grass itself is thin and spindly, trembling like the legs of a colt, for those first unsure steps. It cool to the touch, soothing against warm flesh, despite the looming sun. The blades brush against each other, rustling like a wire brush whisked over a drumhead. The same sound they make over flesh, soft and pale, taunt against its pinpricks of attention. The Earth below is firm, with the slightest peaks of close shorn stalks, hardened and painful from seasons passed. They cover the ground like pikes around a castle, keeping small feet from nestled imprints.
There is always movement. The wind, little imp, lifts strands of green and mahogany both, rising in tandem in the primordial dance. Both alive and sheltering life, as the bugs, whose feet take oblivious purchase on blushing white and green both, leap in calculated choreography between the blades. The birds above dip and arc, wings stroking the blades like wind given life. They cry out in flight, mirroring the calls of the woman nearby. “Shawneee.” Weaving together, in and out, both harmonic and dissonant. The sound rises and falls like the land. Green mounds, ocean waves transubstantiated to solid earth, forever frozen in their muted journey to the horizon.
Still the grass blows in tapered lines, toward the living sentinel of trees on the border; archangelus [1] of the field. O Soldier, against the crooked, wicked militant world Come to my help in earnest! [2] Poised they stand to silently trumpet, heralding in the new with the death of the old[3], phoenix from the ashes freed to dance in muted flames, a paradise found in what was lost. Their arms, long and lithe reach for the heavens, ever working to be closer to that light above. The leaves tremble under the wind’s caress, rattling in time to the cacophony. They twirl on asymmetrical tracks, mottling rays of light in jovial juxtaposition to their supporting sentry.
A quiet, deep and profound takes hold, the symphony muted to a background buzz, overpowered by thick and bated breaths lightly stirring tender stalks. The grass twitches, taunt and expectant, breathing in time with children. Stone crunches, short and percussive, an urgent beating to a tense undercurrent. Slowly, they lose their force, tapering to a winding chant.
Then all is silent, save for the light creak of the grass as it bows in response to the wind.
Then it all starts again, a chirping, rustling, crunching mess, as hoppers jump from stalk to stalk, finding home and sustenance both.
And the blue sky, serene as always, blankets them all.

[1] Latin for archangel (just so you know its not a spelling mistake)
[2] From the “ Hymn to Archangel Michael”, patron saint of protection, and guardian of the church:
O angel! Bear, O Michael of great miracles, To the Lord my plaint. Hearest thou? Ask of forgiving God Forgiveness of all my vast evil. Delay not! Carry my fervent prayer To the King, the great King! To my soul Bring help, bring comfort At the hour of its leaving earth. Stoutly To meet my expectant soul Come with many thousand angels! O Soldier! Against the crooked, wicked, militant world Come to my help in earnest! Do not Disdain what I say! As long as I live do not desert me! Thee I choose, That thou mayst save my soul, My mind, my sense, my body. O thou of goodly counsels, Victorious, triumphant one, Angelic slayer of Antichrist!

[3] Reference to Mother Shipton’s prophesy about the archangel Gabriel. “And as he blows his wondrous horn old worlds die and new be born.”< span> Is it thought that Gabriel will blow his horn signifying the end of days and heralding in the final judgment day.


Previous Page    Back to Prose and Creative Non-Fiction    Next Page