We go into a squall of starlings,
into sky jaundiced by thunderstorms;
hail applauding its way towards us,
the distance blurring in its white noise.

August is normally terrible
with wasps – with a heat that hangs on you
like wet wool, like a child’s dressing-up.
A month of dry, taunting afternoons:

tea-stained fields, golden once with the sun
they drank in spring. Not this granite froth,
these glaucous cataracts, weighing on
exhausted air, dead as a judgement.