EarthOne of the delights of the Five Element paradigm is that it invites you to view the world from different perspectives, most of them not native to you. Which is challenging, exciting and quite frankly, a pain in the ass for most mortals. Classically, the Earth element has two aspects. The first is as ‘late summer’- the third month of summer. The second pair of glasses, as it were, views Earth as the transition between the seasons. The Cuisinart that churns the gifts of the prior season and then out rockets the next…I can see my personal bias appearing as I write this. The following poem encapsulates Earth in its aspect as the third month of summer..

Late Summer

Before the moths have even appeared

to orbit around them, the streetlamps come on,

a long row of them glowing uselessly

 along the ring of garden that circles the city center,

where your steps count down the dulling of daylight.

At your feet, a bee crawls in small circles like a toy unwinding.

 Summer specializes in time, slows it down almost to dream.

And the noisy day goes so quiet you can hear

the bedraggled man who visits each trash receptacle

 mutter in disbelief: Everything in the world is being thrown away!

Summer lingers, but it’s about ending. It’s about how things

redden and ripen and burst and come down. It’s when

 city workers cut down trees, demolishing

one limb at a time, spilling the crumbs

of twigs and leaves all over the tablecloth of street.

 Sunglasses! the man softly exclaims

while beside him blooms a large gray rose of pigeons

huddled around a dropped piece of bread.

by Jennifer Grotz


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