Summer’s impending exit is celebrated with poetry and song in Kerry Park where my camera discovers the failing of still and voiceless images. The lute plucks an ancient air, and I am taken by the chants of women cloaked in white and red: throats releasing sound like instruments tuned for sacred rites; limbs entreating, gliding slowly, while coloured lips unwrap a cryptic song not meant for brains.
An ear-ringed black man in white shirt, bandana and woven hair mounts the stage. Words spill from his lips like summer flowers. And after him, a succession, sharing the angst and humour of tattooed minds; constructing with word and sound the framework of a new civilization.
Spectators too are taken: Old cowboys muse, seated on the green power station; boots seeking horses left far behind. A young man with long hair – the image of a postcard Jesus – smiles when I tell him, “My friends and I dressed like you in the sixties.” A couple sits comfortably on a blanket: he with bald head, she with chignon hastily tied – united by the large black poodle between them. And all about the greensward sits a colony of listeners given over to the language of visions and dreams.
In time, the tepid sun slants over the lake to his evening rest. And night pours in with breezes foretelling the cooler times ahead. “This is summer’s last act,” she says, as poets fold pages and instruments for other gigs. “This is summer’s last act – enjoy it while you may.”