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Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 227

Hello, all! I’m on vacation this week, and I’m determined to do no work (well, almost no work). So in keeping with this week’s plan, here’s today’s prompt…

For this week, write a summer poem. Summer can be a good thing–a relaxing time at the beach or on a deck reading a book, for instance. However, summer can also be a time when temperatures rise and tempers flare.

Here’s my attempt at a summer poem:

“Summer”

A shower, a book
left flapping open
in the breeze.

In the distance,
laughter and
water splashing.

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114 thoughts on “Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 227

  1. alplatt

    Winter

    Wishing for waking in warm summer suns,
    sleep takes the taking, I lose an hour
    and an hour and lose all my fun
    too hot now to go, boy I feel sour

    My hands hurt today I wish it would stop
    how could I ever enjoy the cool breeze
    eczema plagues me with one single drop
    of water that washes up both my knees

    Work an eight hour when I’d rather play
    meager money in these pockets of mine
    faith that I’ll flop in pool waves someday
    But I’ll work for now and say I’m just fine

    Get home too late to think about skipping
    in sunset rays through sprinkl’rs sweet squirting,
    late night swims, or diving board flipping,
    wife says tired enough to try flirting

    Day after day then comes week after week
    my summer slips silently with the rains
    Month after month the summer grows weak
    growing excitement accordingly wanes

    You see it’s just hopeless for me to hope
    to play in the spray and slippery slides
    wailing with joy down watery slopes
    for rash likes to creep up my fingersides

    Let alone work, let me earn what I can
    just a mere grocer with too big of dreams
    my fam’ly lucky enough to cool down
    A.C. blowing through the cracking wall seams

    So to me again it’s all just winter
    cooped up inside at work or home tethered,
    so to me summer’s just a splinter
    painfully eating away cool weather.

  2. taylor graham

    MOWING IN JULY

    It’s going to be a furnace out here today.
    But look across the road, our new neighbor
    suited up in jeans, boots and goggles.
    Ready to do battle with old-growth thistle
    that came with his five acres. Rattle
    of dead grass against dry rock. Doesn’t he
    know, a blade strikes sparks? He pulls
    a cowboy-red bandanna from his pocket,
    mops his brow. Eight in the morning,
    it’s already hot. He shuts his mower down.
    A wise man knows when it’s time to quit.

  3. AHReader

    Jealous of my cat
    Who gets to stay inside
    And sleep all day
    With cool air blowing
    While I go out and
    Melt on the walk
    To the ice-cold building,
    Sweating and shivering.

  4. PuffofSmokePoems

    This is cheating a bit, since I’d already written this before I saw the prompt. But it sums up my summeriest self so well…

    Spring Into Summer

    We roar into summer
    like an ancient pickup truck
    hauling that travel-trailer along.
    Our plans and packed up hopes
    stream behind us. Inside,
    the cab is all downdrafts and tinny
    music from the old transistor, drifting
    out windows that won’t roll up anymore
    So the world pours in.

  5. Cin5456

    If you paste the following poem into Word and make it centered, you will see the shape of the poem. I hope some will try it. This left justification format exaggerates the shape. (copyright Cynthia Page, Feb 2011.)

    A
    Mimus
    Polyglottos:
    Mocking Bird
    The park was thick
    with St Augustine,
    I recall, when I was
    ten and lay back
    beneath a
    tree in grass
    grown excessively tall.
    My eyes followed the far flung clouds through ancient branches of oak. A
    mocking bird trilled from strong oak arms above me. He copied the egrets in pasture,
    and a wing-faring seagull, too. His robin-song trilled quite high and fast, and he spoke
    chickadee too. Then warbler singing led into heavenly cardinal voice. Held in thrall by
    precise mimicry, I was soon soothed into sleep; there, we soared together to a grime-grey
    beach where sand pipers ran away from waves, then chased them back out to sea. High
    screeching from above woke me. He became the hawk in hunt. And the
    polyglottos mocked a blue jay with perfectly
    blue-jayish sarcasm. Then, I heard an
    unexpected drone, an impossible
    sound in that park. The mocker
    was buzzing an electric
    “huzzzzzing,”
    That flyer’s white
    noise perfectly
    mimicked live
    wires strung
    high from a
    great metal
    tower, every
    hum, buzz,
    and crackle
    precise. I
    think the
    bird had a
    rare, but
    strange
    sense of
    humor.

  6. Sara McNulty

    Summer View

    There are those whose only notion
    of summertime is steadfast sun, surreal colors.

    There are those that sizzle and wilt,
    uncomfortable and enervated by harsh heat.

    There are those who relish each chapter
    of summer’s book, luxuriating in languor,
    energized by evening rainstorms,
    and cooling nights of promised autumn.

    1. PuffofSmokePoems

      Well said! What an apt description of how summer passes for different people–or different moods–I am definitely in category #3! “relish each chapter of summer’s book, luxuriating in languor”. Exactly how it feels. Thanks for the lovely poem.

  7. Pattypans

    children’s happy shouts
    barefoot, free, lush grass beneath
    wistful mothers watch

    summer evening comes
    bedtime stories lull to sleep
    mothers kiss goodnight

  8. De Jackson

    The Sum of Her

    Take July.

    Add in some sapphire,
    shades of blue, the very
    hues that hone her, make
    her whole.

    Still her heart in slate and
    steel, mark it sound with indi
    -go seal to hold her
    spilling soul.

    Slow it, steep it strong
    in wave, borrowed breeze
    and path unpaved, tally her
    center here.

    Pine her wants and pitch
    her song, secrets she’s known
    all along; carry this one
    through the rest of the year.

    .

      1. De Jackson

        This comment leaves me a bit breathless. In addition to being an incredible poet, PressOn, you are an encourager and creative commenter of the highest order. Know that it is much appreciated.

  9. JRSimmang

    Winged Messenger

    You can hear them in the trees, and
    even without a calendar, we know the
    pavement has just become the
    Styx, and the season Charon’s smile.

    Admiring the sun from the inside,
    I play games with myself.
    Hopscotch with my tiles,
    tennis with my dogs,
    basketball with my wadded up
    spent imagination.

    But the other half has drawn my ire today.
    South, further south than my feet can carry,
    the cold wintery chill of fall has come
    and gone and in its place left
    a deep mark of envy.
    I cannot help but think that the
    mirrorme is looking into his
    screen, and imagining
    a place where the sidewalks
    scorch the soles of Mercury.

    So, sound on, devoted drones of
    Verano. I would rather you than
    Frost.

    _JR Simmang_

  10. Mystical-Poet

    Pensive Syrup Drizzled Over Clouds
    (A Summer Cento)

    There is a glorious fellowship!
    Of uncontested summer all things raise
    Where all day long the willows dream,
    Lingering in the golden gleam –
    In scansion gentler than my hammock swings
    There will be rain-wet roses; stir of wings;
    Outside, beyond a palm-tree fence
    Of perfumed airs that lull each sense
    Like a body, wholly body, fluttering
    Fireflies are dragging the hush of evening
    a steam let off slowly
    struggling to find its terminus
    What finally stands between us
    Is a gate that leads only into another field
    By pulses. You went slow. And suddenly were gone.
    and the woods run mad with riot
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Title and lines from:
    Elaine Equi, “Muffin of Sunset”
    Edgar Guest, “A Boy and His Dad”
    Richard Wibur, “June Light”
    Paul Laurence Dunbar, “In Summer Time”
    Lewis Carroll, “A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky”
    Derek Walcott, “A Lesson for This Sunday”
    Siegfried Sassoon, “Idyll”
    C. Dale Young, “The Philosopher in Florida”
    Paul Laurence Dunbar, “In Summer Time”
    Charles Wright, “After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard”
    Greg Rappleye, “A Path Between Houses”
    Joshua Beckman, “They’ll spend the summer”
    C. Dale Young, “The Philosopher in Florida”
    Wallace Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West”
    Larry Levis, “Anastasia & Sandman”
    Stephen Yenser, ” Vertumnal”
    Paul Laurence Dunbar, “Summer in the South”

  11. Nancy Posey

    I’m late posting, having taken yesterday for a road trip with friends, including my newly retired friend Kay, for whom I feel just twinge of envy.

    Summer

    A peculiar offshoot of my choice to teach,
    a kind of yearly grief for summer’s passage.
    My calendar runs counter to that other self,
    the younger one, a slave to fiscal calendars
    divided into quarters, rolling toward April,
    indeed the cruelest month. Like a schoolchild,
    I feel a contrary tug on July Fourth, festive
    midpoint of my independence. From there,
    the summer unwinds fast as the last half
    of a cassette tape. Kay, just retired in May,
    when fielding questions–Has it hit you yet?
    How does it feel?—admits that the lack
    of sadness at midpoint confirms her joy.
    When the yellow school buses roll
    in the school year’s premature fall,
    she’ll hear the airbrakes, imagine the door
    cranking open, children climbing on
    with new backpacks filled with notebooks
    and newly sharpened number two pencils,
    and she’ll roll over and catch a few winks
    or linger over coffee and the paper.
    Meanwhile, I’ll be back at my desk
    or playing sage on the stage, perched
    behind my podium, fielding questions
    of my own–How long does it have to be?
    Is this for a grade?–and I’ll log on
    to the state retirement website, calculate
    and wait for 2020, a number that finally
    seems, if not close, at least possible.

  12. Average Poet

    Ardency

    Let my words caress you
    like a lover on the sheet
    each syllable undress you
    transparently entreat
    perhaps they will impress you
    with a need to be complete
    then passion may possess you
    like the scathing summer heat.

  13. seingraham

    SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING AIN’T EASY

    She tries to recall in the noonday heat
    Has she always hated the hotness?
    She mops at the sweat pooling
    in the hollow between her collarbones
    With what feels like supreme effort
    she holds her wrist close to her face
    Squints through her sunglasses
    trying to see her watch – wonders
    if she’s been laying on the lounge
    long enough or too long — trying to soak
    up a healthy amount of vitamin D
    without developing more vitilago
    –Michael Jackson disease– her doctor
    tells her; She thought she was getting
    age spots but apparently she’s bleaching
    out instead…What are the chances
    of someone developing an allergy
    to the sun, she wonders…yeah…what.

  14. dandelionwine

    Summer Evening

    Neighbors drop names
    in passing– places paws
    can paddle, and we leave
    the searing pavement
    to park in skinny dirt spaces,
    tying back hair, slipping
    into sandals. Terry capes
    draped over warm shoulders,
    we sprinkle footfalls down
    through pine needled woods,
    laughter from somewhere
    circling back to mark the trail
    while paws practice patience
    to not pull toward the banking,
    soft sand slide, river’s edge.
    We become the wild behind
    our peace and quiet when
    we reach the cool, cool water.

  15. priyajane

    Summer Tunes
    Summer chimes with childhood feet
    Waking sounds of chirpy tweets
    The peeping sun tickles my cheeks
    And ‘hot’, seeks meaningful retreats

    Tinkling bells, of streaming flows
    Ringing rays, that burn my toes
    Whispers breeze and wake the flowers
    Hazy days, that lengthen hours

    Icy floats that quench my thoughts
    Bold, and blazing, blooms in pots
    Skin just drips, and flip flops stick
    Goggles, google dolphin kicks

    Azure skies, that huff and puff
    Sand, that wades in all the stuff
    Distant fireworks toll bells
    Scintill-ating, starry swells

    Nostalgic shores, where love began
    And moonlit dreams, with carefree tans
    Some rhythmic haunts spill thro the night
    I’m not sure why, but sleeping bites!

    A flash of lightening here and there
    As teasing drops just smell the air
    A lazy spell just just hums sweet songs
    As summer weaves in different forms—

  16. Heather

    summer storm

    daylit sky blackens.
    storms roll in
    threatening,
    dark clouds
    unleash
    a torrent of
    rain, lightening, thunder.

    run in between drops
    and bolts
    with useless umbrellas.
    leap over new rivers
    on sidewalks
    and sudden lakes
    in parking lots
    and under bridges.

    safe at home
    shelter protects
    but leaves us
    vulnerable.
    search for sustenance
    without cooking.
    open all windows and doors
    hoping for a
    break in the heat.

    sun sets but
    incandescence
    fluorescence
    and neon glows
    are replaced by
    the twinkling
    stars in the sky.

    we fall asleep
    marvelling at
    our place in the world.
    we wake up to
    our alarm clocks.

    ~ I was inspired by Toronto’s Blackout on Monday. Also posted at http://heatherbutton.com/2013/07/10/summer-storm-poem/

  17. priyajane

    A summer walk in the woods

    Just eagerly walking
    into the woods
    watching their day unfold

    Trees full of life
    tall in every way
    anonymous, and yet, distinct

    Wind whispering sweet nothings
    leaves responding with open arms
    transporting me into an enchanted kingdom

    I want to dance around these beauties
    even the broken, tired ones
    and, just melt into their fond embrace

    To feel the language
    of this interwoven network
    With more than my five senses

    A canopy of soft lace
    shades and filters my vision
    lifting me, lighter and higher

    The sun peeking thro some open spots
    like a mother hiding
    yet watching over her children

    The deers skeptically watching me
    some lightening eyelashes following me
    peaceful soldiers, guarding their territory

    Birds boasting with their wings
    whistling, chirping, humming, trilling
    running messages from tree to tree

    A fluttering field of dreams
    baby dragonflies and pretty butterflies
    giving real meaning to a summer afternoon

    Flowers looking their best
    open petals for thirsty bees
    with their centers exposed

    A lonely swan is pining
    in the green coated pond
    wandering in lily pads, that talk to the moon

    The weary racoon plodding along
    trying to keep up with the bouncy squirrels
    and other mystery peeping toms

    Fresh blithe daisies having a picnic
    with pearly bells and secret elves
    feeding kind and gentle spells

    Golfers practicing their swings
    as their strokes blend into the rustles
    while the pines, mock their gait

    Some science majors, on treasure hunts
    dogs and loners following scents
    feeling rich and quite content

    Each in their own rhythm,
    apart, and yet together
    part of this wonderful world—-

  18. Jane Shlensky

    Bubble

    The water’s cool as I dip down
    beneath the surface, wrapped in blue.
    A single breath embraces sound.
    The water’s cool as I dip down.
    My pulse thumps louder I have found
    as I kick to a deeper hue.
    The water’s cool as I dip down
    beneath the surface, wrapped in blue.

  19. Jane Shlensky

    Wait Until Summer

    I do not work in summer, I have said,
    when I was teaching full time night and day.
    A girl must have a break to clear her head
    of hordes of students, papers, lousy pay.

    And so summer became a metaphor
    for all I could not do throughout the year:
    dozens of novels stacked on desk and floor,
    adventures with a backpack and no fear.

    Summer would blaze wherever I might be,
    providing an excuse for cooling drinks,
    then I became a Self joyous and free—
    equipped to deal with life just as she thinks.

    Now time moves honeyed, warm and rich and slow:
    retirement’s made of summer things, you know.

    1. Glory

      Memories – yes teaching can wear one down.How I used to welcome the summer holidays, weeks of pleasure. Now I enjoy each year – retirement is indeed a lasting summer.
      Glory

      1. Jane Shlensky

        Thanks, JR and Glory. I loved to teach, still do, but the papers and prep ate away at my “re-education” of self. Gorging on books during the summer is a different kind of reading, for sure.

    2. PuffofSmokePoems

      These lines–
      “Now time moves honeyed, warm and rich and slow:
      retirement’s made of summer things, you know.”

      oh, beautiful! Though it’s a long way off for me, that is exactly how I imagine retirement and no more new school years will feel, like warm honey–even though I love my job. Thanks for the lovely reminder of what’s ahead!

  20. Michelle Hed

    Liquid Heat

    Sitting…
    barely moving…
    a fan forces air to dance
    straining the power
    of a tiny engine.

    Lifting a glass of lemonade
    to parched lips
    feels like lifting a brick.
    The effort causes
    sweat to drip…

    liquid heat –
    salty, smelly, un-useable.
    Making your thighs stick to the vinyl
    barely moving…
    sitting.

    1. PressOn

      Your little stanzas and little lines accentuate the effort, or so it seems to me. It’s been like that here, so this resonates with me on that level, too.

  21. Cindy_The_Great

    SUMMER ROMANCE

    Birds whistle your name
    The sun shines all the same
    Our romance was fun
    But now summer is done

    Is it merely my desperation
    That prolongs this expiration
    Of a love conjured in the sea breeze
    Beneath those summer trees?

    I wanted so badly to tell you
    But thought it was too soon
    That I wanted you and I forever
    Like we were in the month of June

    But I always will remember
    The day you and I came to be
    The day I met the love of my life
    The day you set me free

  22. taylor graham

    ON THE LINE

    He comes home stinking
    of smoke, blear-eyed, filthy
    sweat. It takes two tub-baths
    and a shower to bring him back.
    Even then, he’s not quite here.
    He hugs her, but his eyes
    are seeing another place, a face
    of roaring flame.
    It’s in his blood, his head.
    When that lover calls, he’ll be
    gone again.
    What’s left is ash
    and behind it all, the silence
    of the mountains.

  23. Domino

    Magic

    Hypnotized
    by the taffy machine,
    mamma’s hand yanking at mine,
    but my eyes cannot leave the sight
    until pulled away by the amount
    of time (and money)
    she is not willing to spend
    and still
    the turning
    twining
    twisting
    tangle of
    hot candy
    flavored of banana
    or cherry
    or peppermint
    or blackberry
    lined up in bins full of
    wax paper packages
    that one must
    pull
    and twist
    to open
    and taste (of course)
    like magic.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  24. Domino

    Thermostat

    In the winter it’s set to sixty
    In the summer it’s set to eighty
    To save costs, hubby thinks it nifty
    In the winter it’s set to sixty
    and I’m freezing indoors, sickness risky
    July’s about sweating like crazy
    In the winter it’s set to sixty
    In the summer it’s set to eighty

    Diana Terrill Clark

  25. JRSimmang

    Circling,
    I make my way around my garden,
    now enshrouded in
    Endymion’s arms.
    I look down on my gladiolus,
    eyes open
    and admiring,
    while the weathered yellow
    of the summer heat
    bleeds up into the petals.
    It does not complain,
    for what would it ask?
    My fingers are rough
    and the sun has done its job
    in draining away my sleep.

    Oh, Selene,
    you and I are not too far from another.
    Perhaps I could entreat you
    to ask Zeus for
    another favor.

    We are friends during this time,
    are we not?
    You can tell me your secrets
    while the ground’s
    heat seeks the stone
    and the soil
    becomes a cool glove.
    I’ll be here,
    listening in the garden
    awaiting Zeus’s answer
    among
    my gladiolus.

  26. Connie Peters

    Take Out

    Seagulls search with sharp eyes.
    “It’s time for lunch,” Mama said.
    “No!” she refused with loud cries.
    Seagulls search with sharp eyes.
    Her sandwich took to the skies.
    “I’m hungry!” she said with a pout.
    Seagulls search with sharp eyes.
    “They’re hungry, too, no doubt.”

  27. PressOn

    THE SUNFLOWER AND THE BEE

    See how the blossom embraces the bee,
    enfolding its loved one utterly
    in petals of color and virgin scent
    that hasten a mutual encirclement.

    No beast of the field, no bird of the air
    is whole unless being one of a pair,
    for oneness is nothing; a twosome is all,
    like Juliette-Romeo, Minneapolis-St. Paul.

    Whilst watching a sunflower cuddling a bee,
    verses like this can happen, y’see.

    1. Glory

      Summer Romance

      The sun shines, the sky is blue,
      I stand here in the park with you.
      You smile: say you love me true,
      I laugh, say I love you too.

      The summer sun sadly dies,
      the sky I see with clearer eyes.
      I stand remembering all your lies,
      our summer romance sadly flies.

  28. PressOn

    BUMMERTIME
    (Apologies to the Gershwins)

    Summertime,
    and the livin’ ain’t easy;
    days so sultry
    that I’ve wanted to cry.

    The heat is thick
    and the river is steamin’
    and harsh drippin’ sunshine
    dries the rye.

    Most of these mornings
    I’ve had to rise up sweatin’,
    then I spread my arms
    and I plead to the sky,

    please send me a morning
    when the clouds will confound you,
    so summertime I can say good-bye.

    Summertime,
    but there’s autumn a-comin’,
    with pumpkins grinnin’
    and the frost on the rye;

    each mornin’ rich
    with a palate of color,
    and that’s gonna be here
    by and by.

      1. PressOn

        Thank you. I was made to realize, though, that I apologized wrongly. George Gershwin did indeed write the music to Summertime, but Ira did not write the words. The lyricist was DuBose Heyward. (sigh)

  29. danceswithhorses

    Warm air
    Caressing my face
    Toes in the hot pebbly sand.
    Close my eyes, drift away
    Hear the ocean’s subtle cry
    The waves almost come close enough
    To lick at my feet
    But something tugs my leg.
    Reluctantly, I open my eyes
    “Get out of the sandbox, Mom,
    I want to build a castle!”

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