Sunday, July 12, 2020

'The Air Staggers Under the Sun'

“Today will be a similar version of yesterday. Tomorrow will be similar to today. And so on.”

Normally, I don’t want my weather forecast larded with philosophy. I prefer it straight, no chaser. But this is from the website of Eric Berger, a Houston-based newspaper-reporter-turned-entrepreneur-of-meteorology. Unexpectedly, he and his writing partner can write, confounding our expectations of journalists and weathermen. We’ve arrived at that time of year in Houston when you step outside and feel sweat bubbling on your forehead. You can’t ignore the heat. Lawns are turning crisp and brown. So are the tomato plants, though I water them daily. Not that it matters. Squirrels have eaten all the tomatoes, though they leave the cayenne peppers. The City of Houston sent us a heat advisory via email: “Pay attention to the temperature in your home.” Thanks, Mr. Mayor, but I’ll take my hot weather updates from Richard Wilbur: “The air staggers under the sun, and heat-morasses / Flutter the birds down.” I swear I saw a white-winged dove sweating. Wilbur continues in “Sun and Air” (The Beautiful Changes and Other Poems, 1947):

“All stir sickens, and falls into barn shadows, spills
Into hot hay and heat-hammered road dust, makes no sound,
Waiting the sun’s siege out to collect its wills.”

After the drought we’ll await the hurricane.

1 comment:

Tim Guirl said...

We had to cover our tomato plants with netting to keep the squirrels away.