Summer Solstice

Oyster River Farm, Durham, New Hampshire,
June 21, 2017

by Rodger Martin

The Arctic sun casts a glow southward.
The rays angle between trunks of tall pine,
shrouded druids, to splay on this lawn
where each being reaches back unbroken
to that first breath. A hermit thrush echoes
into this apogee which celebrates
the prodigal sun’s return. How he bathes
this earth in green and lets the family feast
in its greeting. The long light warms the heart,
nurtures constitutions for native desires
supple like white birch, strong like seasoned oak,
knowing the profligate sun must travel.
It’s the way of children. The families know
what the families must: Welcome, let them come
so they return to once again find home
and then, hide the ache and . . . let them go.


Commissioned for John Ahlgren, June, 2017

Summer Solstice, Poetry Bridging Continents III: A Selection of the Chinese and American New Pastoral Poems, p. 7, Yancheng Teachers Univ., PRC, November, 2019.


Rodger Martin’s third poetry volume, The Battlefield Guide, (Hobblebush) uses locations on battlefields of the Civil War to reflect upon America today. Small Press Review selected The Blue Moon Series (Hobblebush), as its bi-monthly pick of the year. A translation of his work, On The Monadnock, appeared in China in 2006. His new book of poems in two languages: For All The Tea in Zhōngguó is scheduled for release in 2018.


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