. August. The rose-of-sharon blossoms float like stars Within my reach: I’m lying on the grass Observing sunset fade and twilight pass Between their leaves. Cicadas sing their airs, A gentle dirge: the summer’s passing, too, With ticks and tocks of crickets counting hours That still remember June’s long days. Sunflowers--- Aged and withered---still can look down through Late vernal foliage. This year’s youth has gone The way of tulips, peonies, and iris That yielded to the judgment of Osiris Before July. Now fireflies’ tranquil drone Accompanies warmth’s final rays, and hums Fall’s bass line as the last few ripening berries Attempt to blush before the cold that comes To bury them with all that winter buries. . . . . Summer Evening Sounds The cicadas are mowing the air While a gardener buzzes his lawn And the crickets continue the prayer They began at dawn. . The engine of rush-hour hums With its stereos’ gut-bruising noises; Their thunder of synthesized drums Effaces our voices. . Bright-vested roadworkers’ drills Make a din as they dig in the street, While the red-breasted robins’ sweet Notes fill the intervals. . Other songbirds have gone away To meditate for the night But the jarring rasp of a jay Scratches the twilight. . Air conditioners’ constant drone Persists after dark; day’s warm breeze Has gone to sleep with the sun Behind the trees. From Notes on Time . . . . . Cynthia Erlandson is a 2023 Top Four winner in the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Competition. Her poems have appeared in The Society of Classical Poets, First Things, Modern Age, The North American Anglican, The Book of Common Praise Hymnal, and The Catholic Poetry Room. Her collections are These Holy Mysteries and Notes on Time.