August, the Month


The Roman Senate honored Augustus Caesar,

Rewarding him for great martial deeds,

By naming the month Sextius, now Augustus,

Giving it thirty-one days so that Augustusí month

Would be equal to Julius' month.

Poor February was diminished by one.

By such violence was our calendar shaped,

August reigns this month,

His garlanded head erect,

His white tunic bordered in royal purple,

Flapping as he wheels his chariot,

His flinty face framing his flity eyes.


August marks the victory of the sun over the earth,

Long cicada-celebrated days,

Stretching and extending their empire

Over the leaf-green world.


--August 2, 2013