Late Summer

Yellowed grass stems lean
into the end of long summer days,
the startling dryness just starting to pass.

The very air feels like it is splitting, opening
along a seam, lifting the weight
of all this piled and layered heat.

Or perhaps it is the grasshopper’s flight
that makes it seem that way, that added crackle,
that startled noise on top of the hiss

that always seems to be there when
it’s very warm, when the grasses themselves
are singing their long, thin songs.

Jamie Newton lives and works in the Coast Range foothills west of Portland, Oregon. He is a painter, sculptor and writer and not infrequent herder of chickens, dogs and wayward farm implements. A selection of his work can be seen at

Photo credit: Matthew Rose

Photo credit: Matthew Rose