Summer of '99
How ironic. There I was, waking to a magnificent kaleidoscopic sky
and I had no one to share it with. I thought you'd be there but I knew
that it was too good to have lasted. It was too perfect--
you were too perfect, all the way down to your cheesy pick up
line... "Steamy Summer Love" indeed...
But what is steam anyway? I guess the love that we shared
that summer literally evaporated. All at the heat of the moment.
How cliched. But it sure burned me, now I realize how true it is
that steam is way much hotter than boiling water.
Was it all a dream? I tend to think so, but then
I finger the bracelet around my wrist,
and realize it was true after all.
Breath on breath. Skin to skin. Heartbeat to heartbeat.
Soul to soul? I thought so.
I've come back here, to this same spot where we were a year ago,
just for me to let go.
Literally bottling up everything...
this write goes in this bottle, as well as some sand here
and your joke of a bracelet.
I'm tossing this out to sea, because that's where it belongs--
those memories to be swallowed up.
by angry waves...
Was it a fantasy? Maybe, but then I hold him close to me
and realize it wasn't. I named him Nicholas, you know.
See, I remembered your name.
Summer of 2008
I've come back to this place to mull over something rotten
I did a decade ago. And remember-- that gorgeous face,
those mesmerizing eyes and smile... that amazing spirit.
And hit myself on why I was such a fool.
Then I see this bottle, and in it is some sort of letter,
and what is this? A bracelet? An all too familiar one--
holding it in my palm, I get a chill not brought on by the sea breeze.
Reading the note, I burn up, ashen.
I then weep till my eyes and soul feel like dying.
I have a son.
and her name has escaped my memory.
** July 18 2010r06262012
To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eye'd,
Such seems your beauty still.
~ William Shakespeare
I have looked into the mirror
Looking for a trace....a trace of my youth
A trace of the girl that I used to be...
Is she there? Buried deep? Is she still part of me?
Years can't be halted, change can't erase..
And there...in my face, are the lines of experience
Stories and time...I see staring back at me
A part of me wants to grieve for that girl
The girl that I was.. Has she vanished for good?
Oh, I do understand....
That I can't hang on to "then"..
To days long ago, when time was our friend
When summers, together, seemed never to end
But, then............ , here by chance, we meet up once again.....
Our friendship born in childhood..so young, and carefree
You...with bright eyes, and brown hair that fell long
Around your high cheeks ...and a wide, gamin smile!
You were the one who's light shined so brightly
Who's charm, laugh, and wisdom I fondly admired
A girlhood where we danced together in sweet grass under sunny skies
And under nighttime stadium lights, to the music of the high school band
After years, that have taken us to separate worlds
In my mind, and in my dreams you have always been
The fair maiden, the one who held my hand
Two girls who made promises...who sat in the dark, under a summer sky
And talked of our "somedays", of our future, our hopes
By the light of the moon, we wished upon the stars
Now here in this moment, I have found you again
And here in this moment, I have found "me" again....
I can be that girl again....as we share our history
our moment in the sun, ....I am "her", again!..
I can be that child, I can be fifteen, I can wear a crown, upon a teenaged throne...
And I can still dance to the sound of the drum, and the tuba,
I can sing football songs, and gossip about the boys,
and make fun of the stuck-up girls
and laugh about the teachers we didn't like,
and about the night of the prom, when I cried in your arms
I can hear Johnny Mathis singing "Misty", and the words will make me weep
I can hear "Canadian Sunset" as it lulls me off to sleep
Perhaps the stars have faded a bit...but beyond the weary miles
They still shine when I look into your eyes...my dear friend, from the past...
They will shine through the ages.........where a summer will always last....
For Frank's Contest:
I tasted summer…
It sure tasted good
I was dying for a sip
Of my iced coffee CHINO
Only in Cyprus…
My drug of choice
Crushed ice with sweetened coffee
In the evenings
succulent watermelon treats
Eating it all with relish
Even the seeds
I tasted summer…
In that first dive into the pool
Immersed in liquid delight
I touched the bottom of the pool
Two dolphins painted there
Let me have my way...
I did a handstand
Legs pointed straight up into the air
The water running down my legs
Straight up....I held on
In my element
My hair flowing around me
As I did my strokes
Diving in and out of the water
That's how I got described
by the one who watched,
"Your so agile"
I thought…OH…this is better...
Better that a sensual high
There was I
Gliding in and out
Water above, below, all around
Splashing around me
Playing...playing with my hair
Saturating my soul
Below the surface
I swim underwater
The width of the pool
I thrust up for air
Water slides off my body
The sun kisses me
Applauding the feat
I taste summer
It sure tastes good
Salty scent in my hair
My body slathered in sunscreen
Sand clinging to me
My sensing feasting
On every single thing...
My eyes delighted
A small September crowd
Enjoys the breeze
that creates the waves
I wade into the water
Intake of breath
It's refreshingly cold
The water laps at my legs
crawling further and further up
Making me gasp
I dive into the waves
One by one
I push myself high
My face to the shore
They pound on my back
I take a deep breath and let them roll over me
Enjoying the roughness
That "out of control" feeling
This is greater than me
I lie back
White puffs: baby angel breath clouds
I let the sun ravish
The water carries me
I forget everything
My mind blank like the blue sky
There is nothing but the NOW
And there am I
Salty and sweet
Oh, so, happy, am, I!
The day’s hot-the wind like a convection oven
Blows hot air in our faces.
My cap and gown insulates me
Baking me like a potato wrapped in aluminum foil
I desperately fan myself and look around
My eyes search for my peers and see;
The bros that survived school with me;
The others who shouldn't have;
The girls with memories already wet in their eyes;
The people I never met and will never know;
All desperately fanning themselves
In silence and in waiting.
We all are waiting for the same thing-
What's next to come.
For some it will be their names
For another a trip to boot camp
For many including myself- college
A couple can't wait to forget the tortures of high school
And a few will already be planning our high school reunion
because it was the best years of their life.
As I bow my head, not out of sadness,
but out of sheer defeat by the sun,
I scuff up my dress shoes in the clumpy grass of the field-
that just finished another infamous drawn out lacrosse season,
I'll be thinking about the 4 plus years, 8 seasons,
worth of drilling and conditioning I did in that very field and on the surrounding track,
With a flash of ivory across my sweating face
I'll be thinking about
All the nooks and crannies
that I sanctioned for the intimate meetings of my girlfriends
The times caught and not,
All the heartbreaks and rejections,
The friends made, the best friends kept, and the many lost.
The drama, stupidity, and immaturity,
Everything that was and used to be.
And, all this time spent waiting-preparing
for this one moment
You can't help but remember it all
And with one, final sweet goodby-
So many memories I have are summer-colored,
like those walking-down-the-lane days recalled in various hues of green.
Green for Grandpa’s cornfields spread all around us
and green for the grass on which my sisters and I used to run and play.
Besides that color green, which prettily surrounded me through all my childhood,
I think a favorite memory would be
the colors of one lovely day spent with my family,
the family created by my spouse and me and a day our kids were young.
We lived near San Francisco.
Few troubles plagued us then and I loved our short time in California!
One summer day at last we went to see the beach of Santa Cruz.
I don’t remember details of everything we did.
We walked along the boardwalk, naturally.
I’m sure the kids, both pre-teens, enjoyed the rides.
Even I was every bit as excited as the two of them.
I’m sure my spouse and I took pictures, ate good-tasting food
and watched our children doing things all children love to do.
But what stood out for me was our time spent on the beach
and how we all jumped up to greet each wave that tumbled toward us
time and time again to knock us down.
What pure pleasure in the splashes of blue that fun-filled day,
the blue of the Pacific, which chilled me at the start
until I warmed to it as the yellow sun in blue of sky above
smiled down on us.
Yes, the blue of sky and water
and the constant shining yellow of the sun:
those would be the colors of my favorite summer memory -
when times were good and we were young and simply having fun.
Looking at an old photo of myself at age 13,
I see a girl, rail-thin, but on the verge of womanhood.
Her hair hangs in long pigtails and she wears a modest top with shorts
as she sits posing on her brand new bike, grinning happily at the camera.
The purple bike in that picture was a Schwinn Stingray.
Not just any bike, this one had high handlebars and a banana seat.
It was just about the hottest property of any kid my age
at that time in the late 60’s when Stingray was at its pinnacle of popularity.
In our family of ten, Dad worked hard just to pay the bills.
Our bikes were second-hand, and I never had one all my own.
My new bike, therefore, represented for me, a summer of very hard work!
I’d spent a good part of my summer vacation that year
peddling greeting cards, even Christmas cards, door to door.
Each day I’d walk many blocks in the humid heat of our hilly town,
knocking on the doors of folks with no interest in ordering boxes of cards.
Some days I'd hardly get any sales at all, and always my profits were small.
Toward the end of my summer, a few large, painful boils appeared on my arms,
and I suppose they were evidence of the stress of my many hours walking.
However, I persevered, and at last I prevailed!
How proud I was to finally walk into the bicycle shop
and lay down on the counter my $45 I’d worked so hard to earn.
Never again did I have to borrow a family member’s bike.
With my purple Stingray, I could get across town to the Weed Park pool
in a quarter of the hour it normally took me to walk that distance.
Through all of junior high. that Stingray was my companion
when I would breeze down the long hill of Eighth Street to my school
and then have to trudge that hill on foot walking my bike to get back home!
Sometimes I would just take it out for fun, but mostly I used it
to ride over to friends’ houses or take it downtown, parking it near stores
while I shopped for 45’s, clothes or cosmetics,
the new items slowly replacing my thoughts of bicycling and play
as I began making money more easily babysitting or picking berries in summer.
My 13th summer soon became a vague memory
with only this black and white picture to show for it.
I don’t recall when or if that bike finally gave out on me or whether it just got tossed.
But looking again at the photo, I see not just that beautiful Stingray bike,
but also a young girl who smiles not just with happiness,
but with the pride of working hard for her very first time with an "eye on the prize!"
Deep in the woods I hear an angel's lyrical call.
Tranquil and serene, a majestic summer waterfall.
Where the oaks and wildflowers shade the creek,
reflections fall to earth from rays of destiny,
refreshing my soul and setting my spirit free.
I smell the aroma of rain mixed with the paradise breeze.
Tranquil and serene, a natural wonder and rainbow of peace.
A cascading sparkling jewel,
above a wave rippling whirlpool.
Upon the wind rides the angel's lyrical call.
Tranquil and serene, a majestic summer waterfall.
One of life’s sunshine days
A pleasant walk down to the river
Scene of all basking in high summer sun
Sheep graze roaming enamoured of the warm grass
The river flowing passing on its ancient meandering way
A self carved path by an enticement no choice drawn to the sea
And over the river and water meadows comfy white cottages seen
The bright garden colours given now a soft focus by haze and distance
Onto the river bridge the weight an impetus of water a few feet down below
Grey stone ancient buttress shaped by old artifice granting water a gentle pass
Auric and glistening the strong suns noonday blazing light beams down
Lit the riverbed of soft golden sands transmuted a bronze by depth
Flanking green reeds softly sway the gentle current persuades
Shadows shapes seen moving contrary and counter way
Lovely minnow’s dark tops sides a silver hidden
Viewed unseen but in this summer light
Serendipity favour a glance a view
Perhaps a little peep
A two-story house stands silent,
no longer prideful of its bay window,
running water in the kitchen,
and a shower in the basement,
or of having erased memories
of shotgun houses with no heat
and back-yard water pumps.
Its blank windows stare
onto fields where cotton once grew
tall and green; where stinging dirt clods
flew from our brother's straight arm,
whose aim my sister and I could never match.
Its closed face once laughed
at red noses, dust-crusted necks, muscles
tightening under skin worn waxed-paper thin
by twelve-hour days under burning skies
and the bitter taste of ashes
blown in by a greedy little weevil.
Our minds hung heavy
with hard-packed dirt and skimpy crops
as our hoes wielded strength and hope,
our toil fueled by dreams
of emerald fields and rain-kissed rows,
our memories ripe with younger days
when we swam in creeks, bucketed
minnows, and climbed trees
in search of possum grapes.
It was an innocent summer afternoon
And for a day we pushed our problems aside
The almanac promised a clear day, highs in the eighties
Instead it was muggy and hot in the low nineties
After lunch the three of us
Took a slow walk under the summer sun
Coming home we went our separate ways
Jon to the living room
Elaine upstairs and
I to the den
Where I fell into a deep sleep
My body sinking into the sofa.
A faint breeze circulated through the air
Suddenly a yellow light woke me up
The skies suddenly darkened
Followed by heavy rain
It was a summer storm
Sudden it its ferocity
I woke up
Joining Jon and Elaine
Running out to bring in the lawn cushions
In the rain we
Made loud noises
Threw cushions around
To our hearts content
We were together again
Because of a summer storm.
As the night is consumed by crimson mist, I stand surrounded by all manner of nefarious foes, both human and demon, living and dead as I stand my eyes burn with draconic flame I feel the lust ,the lust for blood and vengeance revenge for their words and actions, chains and abuse their acid venom The blades they used that flayed my flesh from my body leaving me with bones and sinew leaving me raw not an inch of skin left to protect me
As I start toward my foes, consumed by blood lust and the flames of vengeance when wolves of silver rush in front of me and from the shadow of the wood a man and woman appear both handsome and lovely clad in white; from the black skies a wall of gold and black shimmering with light appear holding back my foes
In the air clad in gold and black scales emanating power a dragon comes and from the earth rises a sylph ,a cold wind blows as summer leafs and the scent of honey mix with the frigid air around us and two Fae one of the winter and one of the summer court come walking out of the wind
then dragon fire flames the barrier between me and my foes , the Fae speak in an unknown tongue immediately wind gathers gathering my foes in a tornado of such power that non could avoid the earth arose around the fury of the storm as the pair in white strode into the storm soon I heard not pain but moans of joy emanate inside wolves rushed in soon there came limbs flying from the maelstrom of power the dragon rose into the air above the magic’s of those around me soon the smell of burning flesh flooded my nose soon the carnage was over
this is also a personification
The lines are blurred when blended
I know first hand that govenment grilled cheese sandwiches
are delicious as I shared them with Phillup my best friend,
black as night and true as time...he was my ace
His mother, my godmother Lucille, chased us out to play
in streets equal parts innocent and villainous
Street kids busted hydrants in blazing summer days
we ran through the water blasting sideways cooly
There was no race-hate-ignorant-violence
Black and White children playing with only the care
of our next adventure and the dread of a setting sun
All poor, all struggling, all trying to get by
lines were blurred and blended splendidly
playing a Guns N Roses tape for Lucille
as she laughed at the wailing voice
shaking her wise head saying "Here honey"
...."Listen" replaced with Otis Redding
the pain and passion in his voice
hung in the hot air adding to the summer soundtrack
I moved to a whiter and "higher" place
better schools and cleaner streets
the children echoed their parents ignorant
hate filled diatribe...Ni**er this and Ni**er that...
...I visited Phillup as he moved to a rougher hood
the children echoed their parents ignorant
hate filled diatribe...Honkey this and Honkey that...
Not one of those knowing the other...the lines
clear and defined. Seperate and scornful
...I miss that beautiful blurred time in my life
...I wish everyone knew such a place existed
It was a warm summer night
In a glowing neon dream
When I walked under palms
By the ultra-violet sea
Where Soft light rained down
Gently spread upon the beach
Hazy sky and oceans blurred
Aqua, orange, purples, pink
In the atmospheric twilight
I strolled the endless avenue
Mixing with the bar lights
Entranced by the sea view
Reflecting on the waters
Were flickering yellow strokes
Where freight ships turned to fairylights
Like a painting on the Rhone
Along the lamplit concourse
Ambient and watercolour washed
A stream of strollers poured
Soaking up the dusk
And With the flow of a ghostly breeze
I brushed by lovers and loners
Slender exotic joggers
And the Sunset bathing homeless
To this day it burns inside
My first night in Limassol
She left colours in my eyes
Windows thrown open on a sunny June morning
Refreshing and uplighting like a sun flower's first captured vision
Breathe deep and absorb the sallowed air
A woodpecker knocks and signals that summer has sprouted at last
The window causes the wood pigeon to scare and swoop away to the south
It flies leaving my elder berry tree. Oh those lovely teas of the elder berry
I must check the size of the raspberries on those endless spreading tendrills
And tie up the old conference pear to the bending summer wind
New cut grass divine in smell from yesterday's motored cut
The stinging nettles make no effort to grow beside the swings
Small crimson and green rhubarb shoots sprout out and lack a feed
And the wind blown fish meal has moved on beyond the base of the plum tree
The wood pigeon returns and lands and hides like so many years before
Mr swallow swans and loops for insects upon the wing
So many frog sprawn clumps at top the septic tank some born some wriggle
And once before a pine marten appeared and lifted the lid of my old dust bin.
A garden so rich and vibrant so productive and open
I welcome all comers to grow to feed to view to read
It oxygenates the mind and calms the soul
Brings happiness and reason gives purpose and marks the season
When the days of summer seemed so long
And the dirt road was my path
I'd find pop bottles by the side of the road
Thrown from cars as they roared past
I'd collect the bottles of many shapes and sizes
Then to the grocery store I'd go
The cashier would always smile at me
When I brought in the load
Three cents apiece I got back then
And candy I might buy
Or maybe a pack of baseball cards
With bubble gum inside
It seems now not so long ago
Those childhood days gone past
When the days of summer seemed so long
And a dirt road was my path
David Gary Pennington
A cold drop of rainwater fell on my eye,
Awakening me from a deep sleep;
I felt queer:
"Hope my freckles haven't faded,
For summer's come and gone;
Today is cleaning day...
I turned on John Mellencamp,
And washed my walls which
Were painted antique white;
After rearranging my furniture,
I placed on my brass bed, a new
Ensemble of white satin ~ oh, so gentle;
"I really hope my freckles haven't faded,
For summer has come and gone;"
I carefully washed my window till it...
Then stood for a long while;
I removed my oversized flannel shirt,
and felt the sun's warmth on my breasts;
"Perhaps my freckles faded but little;"
Upon buttoning my shirt, I hung exquisite
White satin curtains that brushed
Candles of violet, light blue and white
Were placed randomly throughout,
Just prior to polishing the sturdy oak floor;
Finishing touch...a crystal chandelier...
Heroic...Hanging from my ceiling...
I stood in admiration...observing the
Magical sun dancing in hues of red, violet
As I showered, the warm water enchanted
My slender body...and...my soul;
Never before had I felt so peaceful;
As I slowly massaged my thighs with
Vanilla cream, I observed that freckles
Yet coveted my nose...bosom...legs...
Summer embraced my waist and softly
Whispered the secret into my ear...
I proceeded downstairs, poured a glass
Of wine, then...
I politely asked my lover to leave.
If summer is no longer summer
And the leaves begin to fall-
Prey, I no longer love you,
And I’ll call your name no more.
If I’m found amongst the leaves,
And the rain falls from the sky,
Prey-let me sleep.
And please, don’t ask me why.
When the night curls round me to sleep,
And when it silently dreams
I lay awake in solitude.
So lonely, and torn at the seams.
I cannot see the beauty,
So I lie amongst the leaves.
When you find me, my love, I prey
Kneel and sing a song for me.
But now, summer is summer,
And I am not asleep.
So take my hand and walk with me.
For your love I am sure to keep.
First light's crystal bright
the rooster clock strayed
sleeping through summer days
Passing slow in my old age
Jewel eyes blinking wide
blurred blind,eyes wincing hide
imaginitive high,closed eyesight
safe from morning light's
glare and artificial air
Narcotic vision offers spiritual distance from an invisable
world changing without notice , sometimes without rational motives
Heatwave summer beyond the horizon thunder
Skin burning yearning effervescient rain
cool gray days eased sunburn pain
and dire thirst
everydays the same almost rehearsed
walking dirt road paths through verdant fields
passed summer's yeild
cleared my mind bothered by old age
immersed in introspective gaze
This existential path is dharmic bliss
stayed stoned on '60s narcotics
glimpsed the otherside...died
Snowing winter's night
death silent galaxy
sacred starlight...zodial destiny
shone through black sky darkness
Spring morning light crystal warm and gentle
twilight sun...radiant jewel
verdant orchard veils cool
my skin tanned remains soothed
Morning sun,eve's stars,twilight moon
in summer trilight amidst day's blue amber haze and golden highlights
day's summer glow fades and blendsin night darkness as day ends
Night's shade,rythmic black ocean waves
cool and pleasant , cooled my skin sunstained
from daylight pain
Autumn morning through eve
cooled by shading autumn leaves and gentle breeze
their sacred colors
blend with twilight skies that smothered
sunlight in an ocher amber haze
autumn's last remains
tuft grass bordered smooth vacant plains
twilight shades tamed
as night followed
I nestled sleep in ashwoods hollow
dreaming of Earth Heaven...until tomorrow
Half a lifetime spent in search of purpose we ponder every reason
In the weather cycles term of life mine came in summer season
Suddenly my eyes were a path to my heart a glimpse of life's high fashion
It was a smile you see ignited hope and awakened sleeping passion
No flash of light nor harmonic sounds just a long sought peaceful feeling
And for my aching heart a wistful lift for my soul a perfect healing
Now as the cycle goes from summer to fall I have you to share my life
And the winters chill we sometimes fear I now cherish with you my wife
So I thank the lord for this special gift he's given me to cherish
Knowing leaves will turn and snow will fall yet our love will never perish
'Morn sky, Spring love, Summer dreams,
Winter chill. Listen to the cloud covering.
Fall deep into fallen leaves, raked
By slumbering winds. Fields of white
Cotton picked in summer sun by Negro
Slaves - peaches by the migrant hands.
Dixieland band plays on for workers.
Sing along, soulful music. Mexicans
Have a more upbeat style. Jazz in
New Orleans in the Spring. Ah, peace.
All seasons man works to the beat,
Heat of the sun and wind. Then rainfall.
Call to the morning sky. Ask why not?
It's got to be time for planting and
Panting up a sweat. No regret I forgot
To mention again sweet Summer dreams.
At sunset one summer evening I stepped outside to enjoy
the summer evening’s sunset and water the garden plants that were
dying in the draught. So I made my way towards the hose spigot at the
back of the house, and as I marveled at
the purple sunset
a dark writhing Figure appeared before my eyes, eclipsing the sun
and stopping me dead in my tracks.
It was not a dragon. It was not a Ringwraith. It was a Spider, a huge Spider,
busily at work crafting an enormous web two yards across, spanning the forest to
His labor diligent and instinctual like that of a master craftsman.
There I stood, marveling at Its pained yet natural movements, wondering when
some bird or wasp would descend upon the Thing
and rip out the Ugliness from the otherwise
perfect scene. But when I shifted my point of view
and the Spider no longer tarnished the backdrop of the sunset
I noticed It disappeared into the shadows around It
and would have been invisible to all but the
sharpest of eagle eyes. And as I blustered through an invisible strand of the
exciting the Demon even further, I knew
that the Thing must go. But how?
I knew how. I would give to It the same thing that I meant to give the garden
for no terrestrial creature can long withstand the force of water.
So I unscrewed the spigot, marched around the other side of the house to grab
and walked back to the spot where I spotted the Spider.
But in my absence the Spider, too, had taken Its leave
and I wondered if Nature was not made for men
to marvel at, or if in those moments
Nature does but laugh at us.