2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

I’m headed back to Georgia today with Will and Hannah. So wish us luck, send good thoughts and prayers, and anything else you prefer. Here’s hoping we’ll have a safe voyage and a new prompt tomorrow morning. Speaking of gas prices, be sure to check out my debut poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems–if you haven’t already, that is.

For today’s prompt, write a seasonal poem. This should be a snap for haiku poets; after all, inserting seasonal words is a rule for the form. However, you don’t have to write haiku to write a poem that references or happens in one of the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Pick a season or include them all.

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2015 Poet's Market

2015 Poet’s Market

Get Your Poetry Published!

Writing poetry is one thing; getting it published is something else. Take advantage of the best print resource for publishing your poetry today with the 2015 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer.

This annual reference includes new articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry, explanations of poetic forms, poet interviews, new poems, and hundreds of listings for book and chapbook publishers, print and online publications, contests and awards, and so much more–all for poets!

Click to continue.

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Here’s my attempt at a Seasonal Poem:

“summer”

three deer cross my yard–
a neighbor approaches
holding garden shears

a squirrel
retreats into the trees–
a hawk finds a limb

two hummingbirds fight
as I watch the sun
set alone

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Today’s guest judge is…

Michael Dylan Welch

Michael Dylan Welch

Michael Dylan Welch

Michael Dylan Welch is poet laureate of Redmond, Washington, and his latest book is True Colour. His poems, essays, reviews, and interviews have appeared in 20 languages in three Norton anthologies, and in such journals as Hummingbird, Line Zero, Modern Haiku, Poetry Nippon, Rattle, Rivet, Sand Hill Review, StringTown, and The Writer’s Chronicle, among hundreds of other journals and anthologies.

Michael is a director of the Haiku North America conference, cofounder of the American Haiku Archives, founder of the Tanka Society of America, and founder of National Haiku Writing Month (www.nahaiwrimo.com).

His personal website, devoted mostly to poetry, is www.graceguts.com.

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Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

Poem Your Heart Out, Volume 2

Poem Your Heart Out again!

The prompts from last year’s challenge along with the winning poem from each day ended up in an inspired little anthology titled Poem Your Heart Out. It was part prompt book, part poetry anthology, and part workbook, because each day includes a few pages for you to make your own contributions.

Anyway, the anthology worked out so well that we’re doing it again this year, and you can take advantage of a 20% discount from Words Dance by pre-ordering before May 1, 2015.

Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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902 thoughts on “2015 April PAD Challenge: Day 11

  1. ameyer15

    Spring is King
    By Amber D. Meyer

    Spring is the thing
    Of the seasons its king.
    Wrap your self in the breath of it.
    You can taste it you must admit,
    That freshness in the air
    To waste this bliss is to err
    For its short but it’s sweet
    As the fruits you shall eat.
    Seize it now while the flowers bloom.
    When it’s spring the world is in tune.

  2. AmyA

    Cherry Blossom Time

    Outside her window,
    Cherry blossoms burst.
    10 minutes ago, they were not there.
    The air is lightened by their pale petals.
    My heart, too, is lighter, higher
    For 10 second,s
    Until I realize
    She is not there
    To gaze out at the black branches
    Gaudy with pink lace.

    Amy Appleton

  3. MadPoet

    Cycle of Seasons

    Calendar pages turn all too swiftly
    As months give way to years.
    Years divide by seasons
    Each adorning nature with
    Its own beautiful regalia
    As our planet slowly revolves around the sun.

    The earth, as it turns away from the sun,
    Is clad in Winter’s stark beauty
    Of naked empty branches
    Some may be covered with
    Cloaks of pristine white snow
    Or encased in glistening wraps of ice.

    When the returning sun produces new warmth
    Spring yields lush, plump new growth
    Of soft succulent green before
    Bestowing the many colored displays
    Of nodding wildflowers in fields and lawns
    As tender buds burst on awakening trees.

    Another turn brings Summer’s blistering sun
    To scorch both flora and fauna
    As the earth turns dark green and secretive
    Hiding nests and creatures in trees and grass.
    Life cycles change to hours of less heat
    While idle afternoons are spent resting in shade.

    The sun once again moves further south
    Temperatures moderate and the flow of sap slows
    Changing green to the multicolors of Autumn.
    The fiery reds, yellows and oranges
    Become a strip tease of falling leaves
    That blankets surfaces beneath them.

    Autumn’s blanket submits to
    Winter’s icy fingers surrendering to
    Spring’s thaw yielding to
    Summer’s heat.
    As the four seasons
    Complete their cycle once again.

  4. Kaylast

    Winter

    Wind ripped creully through my coat
    Insisting on caressing my skin with icy fingers
    Nose to nose with Snow kissing my face
    The fringe of my eyelashes slowly freezing with each breath
    Entering the house I brush off their
    Rough handed grasping for Warmth’s embrace.

  5. Khara House

    Chelten Avenue, 1967

    “I can shake my body … I can hurt somebody …”

    On the cusp of summer the trees catch fire,
    candelabras burnished bronze against the sky,
    snap fingers to jazz riffs on children’s tongues—
    jump ropes rolled between their thumbs.

    Golden leaves clap in rhythm,
    a city sonnet caught up in their palms:
    Chitty, chitty, bang, bang sitting on a fence
    Trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents

    Mommy shakes her head through the window,
    to catch the girls with braids tickling their cheeks
    tempting the boys on bicycles in the middle of the street.
    Never minding the hum of traffic

    until someone hollers— C – A – R –
    children scatter like jacks in the bounce
    of a little rubber ball clasped in the pinch
    of an unspoken god.

    Fire hydrants hissing laughter like Cousin Ham,
    uncles spraying dirt from the pavement
    as if the effort made any difference
    against the salt of the season,

    a ceaseless shower of coal dust and old soil.
    Miss Sue … She got the smooth thighs,
    She got the freeze—

    hydrant whistle and clapping trees.

  6. horselovernat

    The Blank Page

    Not a first place trophy
    or a gift at Christmas.
    Not a superhero, a gullible child,
    or a free ice cream sample.
    Certainly not a warm summer day
    or a Friday afternoon.
    It is a challenge, a hard-won battle
    full of blood, sweat, tears, and pain.
    It begins as the longest day of winter;
    daunting when glimpsed, rewarding when conquered.
    Daring the soul to turn it to spring.
    As pressure makes diamonds, words make it gold.

    Natalie Gasper

  7. A. Ault

    Tulips and Hail

    Spring happened
    too fast
    thawed too slowly
    The grey winds
    pushed too rough
    tulips in pinks, yellows,
    blew away with histories
    The grass greened
    not soon enough
    too short, still, to hide
    the holes in our plans
    And the warmth
    didn’t last long
    in the rain
    The rain made hail
    and the sun gave up
    on our future.

    A. Ault

  8. JocyMedina

    It is Summer in the North
    It is dark under this Sun
    The flowers went to hide
    Because here comes:
    A wind that bites!

    I am missing a few piecesfile9321290884905
    After going for a walk.
    I got left, just seven fingers
    Which is plenty if you write.

    Hug my soul before it freezes
    In this Northern Summer fun
    It’s minus twenty digits
    I think Winter stole July.

    By Jocy Medina

  9. Jessica Cummins

    Our Winter

    I look straight
    Through February mist
    Far off, gray, blurring the mountains
    Not yet chilling the morning’s warm air
    Left behind
    By a departed blue sky

    You are somewhere
    In other mountains
    Blurred by the grayness in my mind
    I am left
    Erased and forgotten
    By a sweeping rain

  10. Alemonlot

    in the dead
    of winter

    I want to take you
    on the ground, before
    you go down

    in the early hours
    before dawn

    with winter’s breath
    flickering like
    a dry

    light

    still, dark

    your hand coming out of
    the thin sliver

    smelling of frozen
    earth.

  11. Anya Padyam

    Spring-ter

    The wait has been long
    For the hues to burst out
    The pinks and the pastels
    Are delayed beyond doubt

    Holding to its last leg
    The toothless frigid frost
    Let go, if it doesn’t
    Our spring could be lost

    Winter and summer alone
    Cannot hold the balance
    The moderates play their part
    Even if there isn’t valiance

  12. deborahbgkelly

    Dress in layers
    A lesson hard-earned
    I was sick nearly every day that first year

    Fall is not really Fall
    Winter is never truly Winter
    Spring is just confused
    Summer hasn’t quite made up its mind either
    Colorado: A State for All Seasons

    Any day of the year can start below freezing
    And end with temperatures over 80 degrees (Fahrenheit, of course)
    The reverse is true, too

    Fall is not really Fall
    Winter is never truly Winter
    Spring is just confused
    Summer hasn’t quite made up its mind either
    Colorado: A State for All Seasons

    Will the sun shine today?
    Will it be cloudy?
    Are we expecting rain?
    Perhaps we’re expecting snow.

    What month is this?
    What season is it?
    Does it matter?

    Fall is not really Fall
    Winter is never truly Winter
    Spring is just confused
    Summer hasn’t quite made up its mind either
    Colorado: A State for All Seasons

    Some people complain
    Some find pride in our unique climate
    Some are merely fascinated
    Some truly know how lucky we are
    Because

    Fall is not really Fall
    Winter is never truly Winter
    Spring is just confused
    Summer hasn’t quite made up its mind either
    Colorado: A State for All Seasons

    -Deborah B. G. Kelly

  13. lawrencek

    BARREN

    Absentminded
    bovine
    corral.
    Distant
    egrets
    follow
    gale-winds
    home.
    Immature
    jackasses
    keep
    lunging
    menacingly.
    Nervous,
    obnoxious,
    prickly
    quails
    resemble
    snowy
    toddlers.
    Unearthly
    vixen;
    Winter,
    ‘xcretes
    yuppies,
    zestfully.

  14. lawrencek

    WINTER’S TAIL

    Anguished branches curl downward every freeze. Giants howl. Icy jabberwockies kick. Lazy monsters needle ogres provokingly. Quiet, raw snowfall trembles underfoot. Vocalizing winter’s extreme yodel. Zeus.

  15. lawrencek

    FALL

    Anonymous
    birds
    caw
    declaring
    early
    Fall.
    Geese
    harangue
    innocent
    jack-o’-lanterns.
    Knotty
    limbs
    mangle
    nearby
    oaks.
    Potatoes
    quietly
    rot,
    sprouting
    tendrils
    underground.
    Vast,
    wheat
    xiphoids,
    yield
    zero.

  16. lawrencek

    SPRING

    Animated blossoms can-can. Daffodils elope. Forget-me-nots giggle hinting innocence. Jonquils kiss leggy, mauve narcissus. Ogling pansies quizzically riddle stuffy toadstools. Uninhibited violets wink excitedly, “Yes!” Zen.

  17. lawrencek

    SUMMER DAY

    Amorous
    beetles
    canoodle.
    Daylight
    emerges
    fully
    glamorous.
    Heat
    inspires
    June
    kale.
    Languishing
    myrtle
    nestles
    over
    phlox
    quietly.
    Rosy
    sundown
    taunts
    unfettered
    vistas.
    Winds
    exfoliate
    yesterday’s
    zest.

  18. Linda.E.H

    I’ve been trying to do a few forms during the challenge. Today I decided to create a cento poem.

    Under the Apple Boughs (A Cento)

    Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white
    when the wind has come—
    blossoms flaunting in the eye of day
    their petals, strewing the grass as for a wedding.
    Veils, everywhere float veils,
    perfuming the earth
    of their sweetness.
    You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.

    Linda Hofke

    cento line credits are: Dylan Thomas – Fern Hill/Robert Frost – A Prayer in Spring/Edna St. Vincent Millay – City Trees/Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – Flowers/Edward Thomas – The Cherry Trees/Ella Wheeler Wilcox – Veils/Pablo Neruda – A Lemon/William Carlos Williams – Asphodel, That Greeny Flower/Robert Frost – Birches

  19. Bonniejean Alford

    A bird in Paradise
    a poem by bonniejean alford

    In this living world
    we carry heartache
    we carry turmoil

    the baggage
    we each hold
    impacts how life unfolds

    the next life
    allows for earthly baggage
    to fall away

    a spirit set free
    from the earthly vessel
    in which one’s soul may feel trapped

    like a bird
    flying without limitations
    through the paradise of heaven

    no baggage
    no heartache
    no turmoil

    only peace
    flying free
    a bird in paradise

  20. PSC in CT

    Thought I posted this one, but not finding it, so… trying again.

    Seasonal Affairs

    She
    adores them all
    even as they abandon her;
    could never choose just one.
    Spring brings dew-drop jewels
    and ephemeral blooms – all
    too quickly burned away
    by Summer’s fleeting (flash-)fire-
    flies. Autumn gifts her with glorious hues
    before the jilting that leaves her brittle, dry,
    colorless, cold. Winter bequeaths her a
    blanket of white, as she waits at the window,
    peering through her frosted pane
    for a simple glimpse of gray juncos
    feeding in the snow, and
    (here’s the thing:)
    anticipating, still,
    another
    spring.

    PSC/2015

  21. waplef

    Three Seasons

    One year I visited the “Twin Cities”,
    And saw the weather changed, three seasons
    In one day
    The morning air arrived with snow
    Covering roofs and creating icicles
    I placed my fingers against
    The window frame
    The coldness rush directly through my veins
    Then noon time came
    And I felt the change
    The sunshine won the battle
    And winter turned into spring
    Within hours of one day
    So we gathered up our sorrows
    And place a smile on our faces
    And step out back to enjoy the day
    Birds chirping, letting us know this day was saved
    As we enjoyed the sunshine
    The evening came rolling by
    The sky went away
    And the clouds turned gray
    And suddenly spring turned into fall
    The temperature quickly dropped
    With cold air came raindrops
    What a typical way
    To end this day
    Yes, I have seen a few states
    But only the “Twin Cities”
    Has allowed me to see
    Three seasons in one day

  22. ToniBee3

    “Junebug and I”

    it was after stressed skies
    relinquished its last trickle
    and obliged to the exordium
    of a rarity in air’s breath
    that I sensed you

    leaves became quieten
    and fell into their rhythm
    preceding the scattered dusk
    that veiled the ebullient hues
    of coral hyacinth

    where I sat on my garden swing
    you landed from balmy air
    like a coin from summer’s Heaven
    waltzing upon my mason jar
    foot-whispers in its dew

    “Why are you here?”, I asked
    and my memory revived forthwith
    that somewhere along glumness
    I’d prayed in hush for you
    my estival friend

    your whys and wherefores
    illumed beneath ambrosial twilight
    and not a soul could ever savvy the pleasure
    to swing in easy colloquy
    in the company of iron wings

  23. Siofra Alexander

    Ashes from Easter Lilies
    by
    Síofra Alexander

    I saw ashes rising
    from a hill
    covered with blood-soaked lilies
    on an Easter Sunday in the spring.

    They were only grey motes of insignificance
    floating in directionless spirals above me,
    so I turned my back on them
    and then they came.

    They boarded a rollercoaster on the branches in the orchard
    to chase me like snakes through the apple trees
    then jumped down and landed on my chest
    then slid along my bare arms
    skipped across my bare legs
    drove splinters into my bare soul
    and coasted into the bay of my bare mind.

    Those ashes of blood-soaked lilies waited
    for me to answer a question.
    It was the question that they came into being for
    after being burnt from the petals of purity.
    Do I want to live or do I want to die?

    And as I stood there in the orchard
    I thought, how is it possible I don’t care either way?

    Doesn’t matter.
    for when I couldn’t lift my fingers to brush them away
    for when I didn’t have the strength to say anything
    I just closed my eyes
    and let them decide
    if I should stay
    or if I should die.

  24. Angie Werren

    the horses on shackleford banks

    I saw horses running
    in a child’s dream
    this wild haze of
    summer and sleepy
    eyes

    was it just sea
    oats tall and top-
    heavy waving thick
    with unfettered
    freedom

    I remember heat
    I remember wind
    I remember
    breaking
    away

    a foal on new legs with five
    hundred years behind me

    why do they stop at the beach

    the child builds ships swims
    back to spain but a horse just
    wears down its time-worn path

    for posterity

    — angie werren

  25. Thedeb

    Winter is darkness,
    I feel the chill through the sun.
    Gray tones
    Gray days
    Gray, gray, grays.
    Cold ground
    Too hard to dig
    the hole.
    Wait.
    Plant me in the spring,
    when my bones will feed the earth,
    and flowers will bloom in my memory.

  26. Diane Laboda

    November
    by Diane M. Laboda

    In a flicker of inattention, fall
    turns into winter, the vortex descends,
    sweeps across the open fields
    and front yards creating frozen tundra
    where waving grasses had been.

    Small creatures, who’d been busily collecting
    grains and nuts and berries, flee
    into their burrows. Humans, who’d been
    shopping for door busters, flee home to warmth
    and mocha lattes and pumpkin pies.

    In a flicker of inattention, the music
    on the radio turns from beach songs to carols
    heralding saints and wise men, givers
    and takers, babies and reindeer,
    peppermint and lumps of coal, jolly
    and bellicose.

    Outside the window, wind howls
    and trees creak horribly, branches fly
    between snowflakes. The moon
    frosts the meadow, the window panes
    and my heart.

    A woman I do not know
    is facing the day with a heavy mind, a heart
    filled with sadness. There is no one else there.
    Perhaps, in a flicker of inattention, the rules changed.
    Should it have been me?

  27. Diane Laboda

    Reluctant Spring
    by Diane M. Laboda

    Spring is cowering under a rock, I know it is.
    She’s afraid to show her face, so clad
    in icicles as she is—just like the wounded maples
    in my front yard with little beards of sap caught
    between 50 degrees and the freezing cold of night.

    I’d like to turn over the rock,
    an easily split shale, and coax Spring out,
    wrap her in a blanket and cardinal feather boa,
    comfort her with promises of sunny-warm breezes
    and a ticket to the season opener.

    I understand Spring’s reluctance,
    a little like failure to thrive, not wanting
    to sing too early and lose one’s voice, jump up
    too early and miss the mark, grow too early
    and be stunted by old man winter’s icy winds.

    Spring just needs a reason to cheer up
    and stop hiding, a reason to follow the wicked winter
    we’re so tired of, show us some grass,
    bring up the tulips whose upstart leaves
    are trying hard to understand white fluffy rain.

    Spring, by name only, will come—
    so says the batboy, the gullible tulips, the songbirds
    whose voices are hoarse for trying to woo,
    and the optimistic gardener sharpening his hoe,
    and counting his seeds, row by row.

  28. LeighSpencer

    Transitions

    When asked which season is my favorite
    I am never able to choose

    Process of elimination
    removes the extremes

    The cookies baking on dashboards
    Heat of Summer

    The visible breath, shivering while the sheets warm up
    Cold of Winter

    I favor the ones
    with a little of everything

    Buds appearing
    in the most delicate, luxuriant, inimitable green
    smell of grass, earth, life
    yet unscorched –
    My beloved Spring

    Leaves yellow, red, green
    like a forest afire, undangerous
    swirling to jumpable piles on the ground
    crunching brown
    as my favorite new boots

    Awaiting the purple sky
    smell in the air
    preceding the first gentle snow
    signaling another end –
    My cherished Fall

    My favorites are always
    the in-betweens

    Hellos mixed in
    with every
    Goodbye

  29. MarieJason

    TILT OF THE EARTH

    Spring’s floral blooms bring blossom perfumes
    That waft with loveliness towards the vernal moon.
    Summer’s sand promises sun-kissed tans
    Gilding us gladsome as we wander hand-in-hand.
    Then Mabon’s season turns harvest heavenly
    As frondlike propellers unburden each majestic tree.
    And when the ground around lights with Winter’s snow
    We’ll warm ourselves together beneath the mistletoe.

  30. Diana Ann Bisares

    Revival

    It is but logical to think
    of many happy flowers
    when raindrops begin to sink
    into their wide, deep well of wonder.

    Birds tweet and sleeping buds wake;
    Come parting again, those gloomy skies
    and sunbeams shower colors on a lake.
    We kiss the damp Earth in circles and ties.
    Feast over beauty; throw all arms to pray:
    May tomorrows bring the memory of today.

  31. mmarie

    My first real attempt at haikus…

    (In addition to the daily challenge, I’ll be using an all-encompassing theme of “self-acceptance” to link all my poems together this month)

    Our First Year
    by M. Marie

    Spring: the return of
    cute sundresses, bare legs, and
    patio season.

    Damp skin, sun-bleached
    hair, long days stretching into
    endless nights: Summer.

    Fall: days grow shorter.
    We wrap our scarves tight and roll,
    laughing, through the leaves.

    Winter: we keep warm
    as the snows come by pressing
    close. Kissing often.

  32. kimberleetm

    Chasing of Cup
    (with apologies to Henry Reed)

    To-day we have chasing of Cup. Yesterday,
    We had other teams playing. And to-morrow morning
    We shall have post-game recap. But to-day,
    To-day we have chasing of Cup. Forsythia
    Beams brightly like lights on the ice in Madison Square Garden,
    And to-day we have chasing of Cup.

    This is the rebound goal. And this
    Is the power play goal, whose use you will see,
    When you are given a power play. And this is the short-handed goal,
    Which in this case we have not got. The branches
    Are silent, unlike the Garden, which cheers victory,
    Which in our case we gladly have got.

    This is the penalty kill, which needs to perform
    With a swift clear of the puck. And please do not let me
    See anyone screening the goalie. You can move them quite easy
    If you have any strength in your check. The blossoms
    Are changing to greenery , never stopping to see
    If anyone’s screening the goal.

    And this you can see is the center. His purpose tonight
    Was to breach the net, as you see. He can slide it
    Rapidly for an early lead: we call this
    Going ahead. And rapidly with this early lead
    The Spring moves relentlessly forward, while we watch TV:
    They call it going ahead.

    They call it going ahead: it is perfectly easy
    If you have any strength in your check: like the center,
    And the quick goal, and the game winner, and the series lead,
    Which in our case tonight we have got; and the cheering fans
    In a not-silent Garden, going ahead for an early lead
    For today we have chasing of Cup.

    Kimberlee Thompson

  33. Angie5804

    Spring Sestina

    With the dawn comes the cardinal
    He lands, lifts away so gently
    Upon the arrival of the sun
    Stopping briefly on the fence
    Edged with soft grass of green
    A reminder of this good life

    Vivid red and full of life
    Sun’s approach met by the cardinal
    The mockingbird swoops o’er the green
    Trilling sometimes loud, sometimes gentle
    Spring is not contained within this fence
    It reaches out to the arms of the sun

    Joy in the early spring sunrise
    Glinting on the dew of life
    Warming the boards of the fence
    Where now sits the flaming cardinal
    A breeze floats soft and gentle
    Over blades of laurel green

    All the earth is verdant
    Lush in the mid-morning sun
    The grass underfoot is gentle
    Trees echo with new life
    The nuthatches chorus with the cardinal
    While finches flutter round the fence

    A Coopers Hawk sits atop the fencepost
    Below, the wisteria climbs so green
    Soon is the last flight of the cardinal
    Rising heat of the noonday sun
    Warming the earth into life
    The spring rains begin so gentle

    Raindrops come down gentle
    Spotting the old brown fence
    The sustenance of all sweet life
    Pale new leaves and mossy green
    Prosper in the setting sun
    In beams of pink and cardinal

    Gentle rains bring vibrant green
    Fencing in the spring, chaining down the sun
    Life so rich, heart so very cardinal

  34. LDeAngelis

    “Beauty in the fall”

    A leaf is most brilliant
    in its final moments
    in the the sun.
    Full of color and vibrancy,
    it begs to be looked at.
    So to,
    do we relish our minutes,
    not knowing when
    our crescendo will be.
    And even then,
    there’s so much beauty
    in how we peacefully
    fall.

  35. JPGrimm

    “Summertime in Childhood”

    popsicle stained
    lips and tongues cherry red and purple grape
    sticky fingers grazing tips of green
    as amber eyes meet the sun and
    find shapes in celestial bodies;
    boats, faces, cats and
    teacups at two,
    so grandma calls from the porch,
    munching on cookies
    and orange peels make orange smiles
    while crumbs decorate my skirt
    because they’re snacks for the ants
    on the hill, where i lay in a bed of marigold and lilac
    hoping the warmth won’t end too soon

    – Justine P Grimmett

  36. wslewis

    Seasoned

    The dead will thaw
    As the sun warms the dawn
    Of tomorrows woulda beens.
    For a Phoenix hides in the underbrush
    Waiting for your wandering dreams
    To root themselves in fresh soil.

  37. jacquemlane

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this son of York;
    ~Shakespeare

    Where No Living Thing Should Grow
    in blurred mirages rising from the desert floor
    where no human should see herself reflected
    seasons do not come and go
    as they could not bear to follow her there
    where no living thing should grow

    autumn refused to pack up the leaves
    who could blame her
    when brown is the only color this land knows
    it rolls in on nuclear clouds
    choking our dry throats and hearts

    nor could winter survive
    year round summer rays attacking any snowflake
    who dares attempt to hold tight to parched ground
    he too chose to stay where powerful blusters can
    not be weakened by mercury rising

    spring, such an accommodating fair haired friend
    rather than say no outright, she teases
    with a few weeks of bloom and blue
    only to rush home quickly to greener pastures
    leaving little notice she once blossomed here

    we brace ourselves and take cover
    for the raging wrath of hellfire burst forth
    nearly six months of the year
    still beating us with its heat stick in October
    trick-or-treating in shorts and bare shoulders

    missing the seasons is more than a lack
    of something from yesteryear
    it is a soulless march of walking dead
    over scorched earth seeking to wash away their sins
    in color, leaves, rain, and snow

  38. David Walker

    Dry Spell

    I tell my students that they don’t want to live
    in California, that one day it will be underwater.
    I tell them this like a sci-fi soothsayer, all spit
    and fury, trusting stars more than science.
    How embarrassing when one of my meeker
    kids raised his hand and asked me, “Aren’t
    they without water now?” I told them,
    “Global warming is complicated.” I teach
    English. What do I know about rising tides
    and droughts? All I see is a never-ending
    summer, my literature-soaked mind
    casting the sun as a black masked
    villain boiling away life slowly for some
    convoluted master plan. I tell my students
    to ask the Science teacher about the whole
    story.

  39. Penny Henderson

    BANKRUPT

    Crickets and katydids
    in concert ready chorus
    sing celebration
    of summer insolvent–
    budding, blooming, bearing done,
    and beauty nearly spent.

    Like an aging charmer
    playing a part
    perfected at twenty–
    lovely at a distance–
    summer’s lush leaves
    are tattered but painted,
    her lawns brown spotted,
    her skies wrinkled.
    Soon she’ll let it all fall at her feet
    in a last wild gypsy dance.

  40. Lucretia_BezBawni_Amstell

    Seasonal

    I tick with the world’s clock
    and dance with it, spin around
    I walk with it, tall and proud
    I talk with it, we rock
    and roll off the ninth cloud
    I tick with the world’s clock
    tick-tock, tick-tock

    summer
    adamant, passionate
    raging, burning, crying
    rain, mud, calm, snow
    howling, freezing, melting
    fragile, hopeful
    spring
    ________________
    by Lucretia Amstell

  41. jldavies

    The seasonal sisters
    by Jen Davies

    Four seasons- almost equal in time
    But always unequal-
    Each one overlaps into the next
    As if reluctant to leave the stage
    Winter is always the most dramatic of the sisters to leave
    She thrashes and snows about, and leaves
    Her cold shoulder blanket covering Autumn’s leaves
    Spring is a beauty, but she is always depressed, and mourns
    because Winter always comes back for more
    applause; abandoning the spotlight, Spring pours
    Summer sneaks quietly onto the stage, when Spring’s back is turned
    And then comes full throttle with storms, sun and surf
    Summer is most yearned for by the learned
    Autumn is more timid and waits for Summer
    But when she comes, she blooms with auburn colors
    And leaves peacefully with the choir
    When she is done, she gives the stage back to winter
    Who demands an encore, more so than her three other sisters.
    It’s a relief for everyone that family reunions almost never occur

  42. LDeAngelis

    “The Warmth of Words”

    Store your words for the winter
    And all the colors your mind can hold.
    They’ll bring the warmth of summer suns
    When the wind is howling
    And testing the limits of the roof.
    Each letter will be savored
    Over soup bowls full of hearty roots
    Among the hearth of the fire
    Where even snow tries to escape to,
    Down through the chimney
    Away from the frozen world it was birthed from.

    And when the last vestige of entertainment
    Has been drawn from flashing boxes of light,
    And every bottle drained of merry
    To soften the cold months hard edges,
    You’ll crack a few words open
    And relish the heat that pours from them.
    Vivid consonants and vowels
    About summer sands and endless days
    Filled with every color in the spectrum.
    And stories will be passed
    To warm hearts and joints
    That have long since frozen stiff
    In the snow drifts and boots where they stand.

    The words will save us all
    From the doldrums that lie as heavy
    as the down comforters upon us.

  43. SJR5

    Seasons of the Year

    The year begins in winter.
    Short days, cold air.
    Snow every other day
    Delights children, enrages adults
    Who must drive and shovel.
    Ice trips unwary walkers,
    Broken bones inconvenience
    or immobilize, depending on age.
    Flu slashes through immunity.
    Homeless people and skiers both
    Suffer frostbite, but homeless people
    Share no shelter from the wind.

    One day bare twigs spout green shoots,
    Celadon haze tops trees.
    Days lengthen at both ends.
    Birds flying north stop for a snack
    In the park, sip insects.
    Lambs, calves nuzzle, cavort.
    Dank aroma of plowed earth
    predicts gardens to come,
    While forsythia and dogwood scatter
    Tiny yellow and pink fingerprints.
    Young people in shorts and T-shirts,
    Oldsters wrapped in scarfs and gloves.
    Sniffles herald hay fever.

    School ends and children move
    From classroom to campground
    or lock into videogames or Facebook in
    Dim bedrooms or under stairwells,
    Try to keep out of trouble.
    Long days, sweaty nights.
    Heat falls from the sun, sinks into the skin,
    Exhales heat exhaust.
    Lightning blinds, thunder roars,
    Rain washes streets,
    Pavement steam floats above.
    Vegetables flourish at farmers’ markets:
    Tomatoes, lettuces, cucumbers,
    zucchini, eggplant, peppers green, yellow, red,
    beans, corn, and more corn,
    Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, black berries,

    One morning a leaf flashes red on a maple.
    One morning the air snaps back.
    One morning a chill drips from the eaves.
    The days shrink into themselves,
    Darkness resurrects.

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