Evidence of playing in the Connecticut River on a July day, crossing the bridge from New Hampshire to Vermont

Consider July a smelling salt
to rouse your faint year
from sleepwalking,
startled nostrils finally
snort in this year’s bouquet.

Ponder the steam of August
melting towards September,
yellow school bus dinosaurs
prowl the morning roads
to ingest reluctant morsels,
cool shoes and backpacks
the last whiff of freedom
down institutional hallways.

Daydream out windows
to speed the fall towards winter,
when freshness of balsam
collides with peppermint,
swiftly down to a new year
and another round.


Blaise Kielar received Honorable Mention in the 2022 Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize for an excerpt from his memoir in progress, "Be Heard: The Quiet Kid Who Started the World’s Loudest Violin Shop." He opened Chapel Hill’s first violin shop in 1978 and retired from a music retail career by transitioning Electric Violin Shop into the first worker-owned co-op music store in the United States. He plays jazz violin and clarinet in several bands and leads the Bulltown Strutters, Durham’s community New Orleans brass band.