Narrative Summer Poems

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Details | Narrative |
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
what greed!

I tasted summer…
In that first dive into the pool
How cool!
Immersed in liquid delight
Open eyes
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
A fish…
That's how I got described
by the one who watched,
"Your so agile"

Such exuberance
I thought…OH…this is better...
Better that a sensual high
There was I
Gliding in and out
Water above, below, all around
Carrying me
Splashing around me
loving me
Playing...playing with my hair
Saturating my soul
With giddiness

Muted sound
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
The beach
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
I squeal
It's refreshingly cold
The water laps at my legs
crawling further and further up
Making me gasp
I submerge
I laugh

I dive into the waves
One by one
I play...
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

And then
I lie back
I float
Blue above
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
Tasting summer
Salty and sweet
September treat
And happy
Oh, so, happy, am, I!

Eileen Manassian

Copyright © Eileen Manassian | Year Posted 2014

Details | Narrative |
Summer scent is the smell of freedom
where we can escape the flavor of boredom
so we plan to have our vacation on the beach
where we can relax and fresh air is within our reach

The warm wind tenderly embraced my spirit
I felt excited on this first visit
on an island where refugees can find paradise
an island where spending time is wise

The dulcet breeze gently kisses lush green trees
and the mirthful sun smiles over the vast seas 
Where surfers play with gigantic waves
and are not certain on what road it paves

The fluffy clouds are smoothly sailing 
the birds are singing and harmoniously dancing
There are butterflies that are colorful in hue
like enchanted fairies changing colors from pink to blue

I need my sun block, it's time for swimming
the tables are full because later we're all eating
Ladies are smiling to many cool surfer dudes
Children are hungry seeing delicious exotic foods

I picked a shell that whispered peacefully in my ears
and we built castles that we fancied over the years
out of the small grains of white sands
and all you need is helping hands

God was really great in creating splendid wonders
that were loved by all especially the nature lovers
There are numerous oceans that are aquamarine
and abundant trees and grasses that are green

The brother sun was slowly hiding
because the sister moon was coming
I guess it was our time to pack
but there will come a time for us to go back

Go back to a place of leisure and freedom
where you'll not taste the flavor of boredom
It would be hard for us to say goodbye
because truly we will come back and say Hi!

Copyright © Nadine Fababier | Year Posted 2008

Details | Narrative |
Trees were looking when we’re about to kiss!
Summer was glaring and that was not a miss
We wore comfy clothes on that sunny day
Held each other’s hands and felt the beautiful day

The moment we kissed under the sun,
Felt like a warm wind was having a fun
Rays of light gave us an unforgettable spotlight!
Leaves were shouting while watching us all bright

We felt the moment like we’re in a movie!
Grasses were dancing on their incredible groovy
Those white clouds were the witness of our glow
Our summer kiss was so perfectly slow!

I looked in to you and hugged you so bad!
Promise that you’ll be my one and only cad
Everything started in this one summer kiss!
This love is surely one of my please

Copyright © Lei Strauss | Year Posted 2015

Details | Narrative |
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 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 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 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 dear friend, from the past...
They will shine through the ages.........where a summer will always  last....
                      ~                                    ~

For Frank's Contest:

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2010

Details | Narrative |
I was only allowed to go
       (after whining, begging, and promises of unlikely saint-hood)
if my big brother, (much to his displeasure)
made a pledge
to keep an eye on me

Disgruntled, but resigned, he took me along.
He managed to keep, at least,  one eye on me, (however, sitting two rows behind me)
in the dim-dungeon of the Tower theater 
on Atlantic Boulevard,
at the Saturday matinee...

There, happily, and rather smugly,..I would eat popcorn by myself...
which was his apparent bribe,
for my promise to keep our Mother from knowing
my isolation.

As the movie unfolded,
(some Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis thing)
my brother, and his assorted, creepy friends
got great amusement
from throwing kernels of their own buttered bullets,
bouncing them off of the back of my head.
I would turn around to glare at them,
with blood-curdling, "I'm going to tell!", threat in my eyes..
which, of course brought even more sadistic satisfaction, 
to four ape-like, teen aged primates..

After three or four long hours in the dark, air conditioned bedlam...
(a sticky floored collisium for juvenile delinquents),   
we were saturated with multiple cartoons, and double features, sugar and soda,... 
then, emerged with squinty eyes into the sweltering, afternoon sunlight

My brother and his friends, would still be punching each other,
 laughing hysterically at private and quite disgusting jokes
(which I didn't understand, but somehow KNEW, were deplorable)...
  taunting me with, "Cover your ears...Squirt!"

At that moment, all boys,...even my brother, (who was always my hero)...  
                 were as icky as wads of gum stuck under the theater seats !

When the obnoxious, poor excuses for the male sex, had finally parted ways,...
 and as soon as he knew they were out of sight,...
   My brother patted my head, and smiled at me,...
    he reached into his pocket, and handed me
      a piece of Black Jack gum,
       then grabbed my hand,
        and we walked the eight blocks to our home.

Later, after supper, as the summer sun was going down,...
he took me for a ride, letting me sit on the handlebars of his bike
We sped around the block, ..I turned to look back at him and smiled...
                                                         He winked, and grinned back at me...
Then, he said, "Next week they are showing "The Blob".  Ya' wanna come?" 

 The sunset sky was pink, yellow and red,    pretty as a lollipop...

     It had been a good , ...actually a perfect, ...summer day......

Copyright © Carrie Richards | Year Posted 2009

Details | Narrative |
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-

Copyright © Nicholas Bello | Year Posted 2013

Details | Narrative |
We were home 
On 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
My son to the living room
Wife 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 house
Suddenly a yellow light woke me up
The skies suddenly darkened
Then thunder
Followed by heavy rain
It was a summer storm
Sudden it its ferocity
And intensity.

I woke up
Joining my wife and son
Running out to bring in the lawn cushions
In the rain we
Made loud noises
Threw cushions around
To our hearts content 
Glad to be together again
Because of a summer storm. 

Copyright © Edmund Siejka | Year Posted 2013

Details | Narrative |
A prelude to summer… spring’s glorious awakening Green meadows are alive, littered with hundreds of wild flowers Soft and wet, bright, green grass sway, unhindered by morning rain All awaiting warm sunshine to fill with more glee! Out of woodsy habitats come young foxes and hares Their watchful eyes keen as they search for a meal Then hurriedly down a winding path the brave hares disappear But soon become startled as a butterfly flutters by! ~*~
5/29/14 Note: For Kelly's "...As A Butterfly Flutters By" Contest

Copyright © Annalise Brigham...a.k.a. Audrey Haick | Year Posted 2014

Details | Narrative |
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
Then thunder
Followed by heavy rain
It was a summer storm
Sudden it its ferocity
And intensity.

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. 

Copyright © Edmund Siejka | Year Posted 2012

Details | Narrative |
Bags were all packed
Wearing my black shades on
With red pants and brown shirt
I was traveling alone.

Hot wind blew
On my white forehead
Trees were swaying
I wanted to dance.

Heard the waves
Oh beautiful Boracay!
Saw astonishing glitters
Amazing white sands. 

I so felt it!
Summer was bit thrilling
Relaxing and cool
Oh summer vacation!

April 12,2015

Copyright © Lei Strauss | Year Posted 2015

Details | Narrative |
She curled her tail around her toes,
Covering whiskers, chin and nose.
An ear twitch here, another there;
She claimed as hers the easy chair.

Tormentor of both mole and mouse,
She spent the summer out of house.
Plundered, pillaged, night and day,
No mercy for dim witted prey.

Summer passed and then the fall,
As bitter cold left wintery pall.
The feline wanted none of that;
Once more she posed as family cat. 

She lay about each day and night: 
Purred when stroked and feigned delight.
Her bowl, her chair and toilet place, 
Were all she claimed as sovereign space.

The season wore on long and cold.
Outside most life seemed put on hold.
The feline lay there still as dead,
Entombed within her winter bed.

Come now the spring with days of fair;
The old cat stretched within her chair.
A well placed nose near open sill;
She felt the much diminished chill.

Then rushed to door that still was closed.
Cries from her pleading throat arose.
Weaving through her mistress legs;
"Let me out," brash feline begged.

As chipmunk fed in hemlock crotch,
Unfettered cat dashed off the porch.
With one quick scramble up the tree;
A winter cat she ceased to be.

Do we not marvel at her grace,
Ere all those months confined in place?
The cat resumes with guileless ease,
Her summer reign of fields and trees.

Copyright © Diane Lefebvre | Year Posted 2015

Details | Narrative |
I remember back when times were simple. You could have your milk
delivered to your door. One of my favorite memories was waiting for the
Helm’s bakery livery to drive slowly down our street, alerting us with his
musical whistle. Specially built Chevy suburban panel wagon’s, bright
and shiny yellow, contained the most heavenly scents of do-nuts and
cinnamon swirls, rolls and breads to delight the most discerning. Our driver,
we called by name, would stop, get out of his seat and come to the back to
open double doors to the smiling faces, of usually about three or four neighbor
kids besides my sister and myself. The most difficult part was trying to decide
what delicious pastry we would put on our monthly tab. Fine wooden drawers
with glass windows let colorful do-nuts peek through. We would get our usual loaf
of potato bread mom would tell us to buy, but then, quite often we were treated to
a glazed jelly do-nut or a chocolate covered cream filled éclair. Mmmmm my taste
buds tingle at the fond memories. Those succulent delights would be out of the bag
and into our mouths before we hit the front door. By the time we got inside all that
would be left would be little pieces of sticky wax paper and our gooey little hands.
As I recall those happy memories of the late ‘50’s, my only regret is that I am sorry my
children were not given the thrill of hearing “Here comes the Helmsman”, let’s beat feet!

© September 12, 2012

Copyright © Connie Marcum Wong | Year Posted 2012

Details | Narrative |
I live in a small town
A few miles from the sea
When the season ends
And summer draws down 
Seaford becomes a small town again
Townsfolk wave 
And smile
Others, quiet and serious
Go about their business 
With a quiet determination
I see all this
And I feel comfortable here.
At night when the streets are empty
And the town asleep
Forlorn traffic lights 
Stand guard 
On each avenue
Lost in the fog 
Are the sounds 
Of faraway trains
On steely tracks
Chasing shadows 
And racing the moon 
To catch another day. 

Copyright © Edmund Siejka | Year Posted 2009

Details | Narrative |
I watched on her journey; the one she’d make alone;
Down roads of pain and solitude on toward her final home.
My mind went back those many years when we were both still young;
The warm and endless summers long before our songs were sung.

A pair of little tomboy girls with missing teeth and braids:
Tattered jeans and sunburned arms with plans yet to be made.
Far journeys that would take us to adventures each new day.
Traveling through our summer world, exploring on the way.

We swam in rivers dark and cool: ate berries picked with care.
From prickly bush we’d snatch a few, but did not dawdle there.
For there was much that must be seen and much more to be done,
As we enjoyed the freedom that with summer seems to come.

But mostly I remember the closeness that we shared.
Secrets, dreams, a lasting bond; to each our soul we bared.
And when the time for sleep would come we’d lie in sagging bed,
With fresh air whispering on our cheeks, stars twinkling overhead.

Each drifting off to well earned rest with plans for coming dawn,
When once again our world would be all shiny, bright and warm.
And we would walk dirt roads again, bare feet encased in grime,
As summer days passed slowly and our greatest gift was time.

But time turns out to be deceit: betrays us in the end.
And we must face the awful truth; time never was our friend.
I saw this as I watched her make her pilgrimage alone.
I wanted so to help her on her lonely journey home.

But we are each in solitude, at birth as well as death,
And thus it’s all alone we are, when drawing our last breath.
It’s then I felt such sadness, for she’d left our mortal shore,
She’d slipped into a great unknown, her presence felt no more.

The good Lord had then guided her through to her journeys end,
She waits within a far off place , my uncle’s child . .  my friend.
And when I step from out this life, to one that’s yet to be,
Perhaps lost days of summer are still there for her and me.

© 2015 Diane Lefebvre

Copyright © Diane Lefebvre | Year Posted 2015

Details | Narrative |
The Beach There was one spot upon the hill where when the sun was just right, and you got up real early, you could see the ocean. Just a glimpse of it as the sun bounced its morning yawn across the bay. It seemed a million miles away, that strip of salty coolness glimmering in the distance. We had gone there once, riding busses with the windows open, the smell of city pouring in and the thrill of mystery and adventure building. The slender strip of ocean now become the suitor of horizon’s hand, hot grainy sand to sift between the toes and waves, Oh man the waves, that slapped against hot skin causing shocking shrieks and shivered smiles. The taste of salt licked slowly from the last French Fry, the feel of sand and stone in tickling erosion beneath the feet, the touch of drifting seaweed, the tightness of fresh salted, drying skin. Shared sandwiches and Kool-aid raised to gourmet grade by scented breeze off ocean waves. Hot seats on stifling bus and fast asleep, a stone to hold, a memory to keep. The spot will e’er remain the keyhole that I peek through at a day, one day, when we were there, the sun, the sea, the air, and me. John G. Lawless 2013 submitted to – Summertime Fun – Poetry Contest sponsor – Debbie Guzzi

Copyright © John lawless | Year Posted 2015

Details | Narrative |
The Last Summer 

This is the last summer 
with all of us together; 
next summer we’ll all be 
somewhere else and hopefully 
we’ll see each other again someday. 
We walked down the forest trail 
we all wished each other farewell. 
Looking around I could see 
that we were all happy to be 
with each other one last time.

Now, we’re all in college 
gaining more knowledge 
so, so, so far away from each other. 
Oh how I wish it was still summer! 

In my mind,  I can still see 
all of us running happily 
we were so young back then. 
Sometimes I dream that when 
 graduation comes and we go on to the real world, 
we’ll all meet together again. 

Counting the summers away
I wonder if we will someday
go back to that forest trail 
where we all wished each other farewell. 
And everyday I look back to our last summer; 
laughing and crying at our fun times 

Graduation has arrived at last! 
many summers have passed 
since we first left on that summer day
and now it is the month of May. 

I haven’t seen any of the others
it has already been eighty-seven summers!
I decide to go back to that forest trail 
When I arrive, tears stream down my face.
For there are my friends all standing 
there and they too are crying.  

So again we walk down the forest trail,
even though we’re old and frail 
and I realize this is our final tale. 

Copyright © Dana Lasts | Year Posted 2014

Details | Narrative |
The Barefoot Days of Summer

By Elton Camp

	When I was a child in rural Alabama during the 1940s, going barefoot during the summer months was still a general practice, especially for boys.  It was feasible because few roads were paved and sidewalks in the country were virtually nonexistent.  The sun on hard, dark surfaces created burn hazards that prevented city kids from going without shoes outside the confines of their own yards.  

	My father’s childhood had been spent in the more distant rural areas of Marshall County.  He and his siblings went shoeless partly by choice and partly because it was the inexpensive thing to do.  Shoes for their large family would represent a significant cost.  Memory being the fickle thing that it is, he looked back on “going barefoot” as a privilege and source of delight.  It was a childhood rite that he wanted me to enjoy.  

	“You can start going barefoot now,” he announced in June of each year.  His tone showed that he considered he was doing something wonderful for me, so I didn’t want to disappoint him by revealing my true feelings.  Going shoeless hurts—a lot.  Sharp rocks and stubs of plants seemed to be everywhere.  After about a month, the soles thicken enough that walking becomes less painful, but it’s mainly a matter of degree.  Without a doubt, the sandy, grass-free yards of his youth contained fewer perils.  

	In the forties, our yard had what passed for grass, but it actually was a mixture of grass, clover, and general weeds.  When the clover bloomed, it created a hazard that no amount of tough skin could prevent—bee stings.  The pain was intense and lasted a couple of days.  The only treatment my parents knew was to moisten the head of a kitchen match to make a paste to apply to the sting.  Despite their assurance that the folk treatment would help, I felt no better beyond the fact that something was being done.  In later years, I took a perverse comfort when I learned that the sting tears out the internal organs of the bee so that it dies shortly.  The mere fact that I was crushing the insect with my foot gave it no right to retaliate. 
	Apart from the beach, I haven’t seen a barefoot child over a year old in a long time.  Viewpoints and circumstances change and that childhood ritual has vanished.  Good riddance to it.  

Copyright © Elton Camp | Year Posted 2011

Details | Narrative |
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.

For the Summertime Contest of Janis Thompson

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2012

Details | Narrative |
Such strange fat fireflies so early in the month of Beltane, pondered Angela, as she watched their ephemeral light brighten then fade.  Was she ken to a mutation from some radioactive mist or super acidic rain?  Or, more simply, a mischievous neuron in her prodigal imagination played. 

It was kind of scary, she thought, for how unspeakable would they become by summer?  Angela waved her arms chaotically, hoping to obfuscate their sense of direction.  Running home, she collapsed on the toilet and performed a thorough lavation to refresh and calm herself -- whilst a single, stealthy flyer wangled and buried it's exoskeleton deep within her shorts, without suspect or detection. 

There it waited, nestled in her warmth like some grotesque, undefinable blur.  Her sleep was a nightmarish kaleidoscope of aerial motion over meadows and fields of variegated flora and shambling human/insect hybrids that feasted and festered upon her.  Angela's brainiac intellect lay suspended in the grip of a changeling's aura. 

She woke in warm light, instantly relieved that the interminable night had ended.  Her eyes appeared befuddled, for the sun was now setting in the pastel-painted west.  Angela proceeded to crawl on the bed in vermicular circles, and then she ascended into her final epitaph ... in the digestive fluids of a companion lightning pest.

Copyright © Tom Arnone | Year Posted 2016

Details | Narrative |
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!"

Copyright © Andrea Dietrich | Year Posted 2012

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It’s October, we find time to go by the spring-house to get the tulips. It is time to prepare for winter and the inevitable coming of spring.  The bulbs look hopelessly dead and ugly, rather pitiful in fact.  We nurture them tenderly.

fall gardener tucks the bulbs in bed till spring's alarm.
Through many snows and chilling temperatures, we do not consider at all what is taking place under the ground. One warm March day we see tiny noses poking up through the soil around the back porch. By April, we are sitting in the swing admiring the result of loving labor of last fall.
seeing the blooms brings to mind dried-up bulbs
How could such ugliness have turned to such beauty in the cold, hard earth? As May approaches bringing other flowers, our short-lived tulips drop their blossoms and say good-bye. But as we've discovered, the wisest of gardeners do not hasten to bother the beauty in its passing.
dust to dust all blossoms shrivel with time food for the soil wilting leaves nourish the bulb hidden in the ground
The bulb remains unattractive throughout the whole cycle of growth. Along in mid-July when all external signs of life have faded, we remove the unsightly bulbs from their bed, putting them back in the spring-house until fall. Without them, there will be no blossoms next spring. It is the care we show the bulb which bursts into the beauty we bless in time. entry for contest: Carlton D. Kennedy's Love of Nature

Copyright © Reason A. Poteet | Year Posted 2013

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In the spring 
Who break in the flowers 
And spread fragrance 
To provide nectar for mankind 
Humans who pick the flowers at will

In the summer 
Who sit still and staring at all 
Let the tree be cut down by mankind 
I wandered and wandered 
Wandering for host to compass me

In the autumn 
In hollow tree 
Eating my favorite nuts 
But mankind neglect my hiding 
Frozen till unable to extricate myself

In the winter 
In iceberg 
Having my own fun 
The bad action of mankind 
Make the water temperature rise

Melting the iceberg 
Only hope that 
Mankind change their humanity 
Because of the replaced seasons 
Spring summer autumn winter

Copyright © Yap Kian | Year Posted 2017

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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.

Copyright © Cona Adams | Year Posted 2014

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A cold summer night
Everyone was asleep
A familiar voice
I know it was mom’s…
A sweet lullaby
Playing in my ears
We walked in the dark
As she calm my bare fears.
The taste of her grief
Fell in my cheeks
I wondered why
She wore a sad lip.
She let me sleep
In an empty box
I felt the best touch
A last goodbye kiss.

Copyright © Lei Strauss | Year Posted 2015

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Steam rose upon the sticky day that summer,
as surreal strangeness to the mist set in.
We stepped to beats played by a mystic drummer,
and waited for enchantment to begin.

Reflecting back, I wonder why we stopped,
to loiter there upon that hallowed ground.
How ill prepared we were for what then dropped,
the fearful secret soon to be unbound.

Four college kids whose light was set to dim,
by foolishly embarking on a dream;
a manuscript unearthed by fortune’s whim,
tormented us into a reckless scheme.

We sought to find a fortune down below,
observing the instructions in the scroll;
no thought for how the consequences grow,
or that the devil always takes his toll.

That empty tomb where once the ghoul would lie,
dark errant knight of twisted gallantry;
in death disturbed by dreams of days gone by,
still punished here for all eternity.

I never fully grasped what happened next,
how we escaped with liberty and health,
but ever since obeyed that ancient text,
and never more went seeking others’ wealth.

We do not dare, discuss the dreadful day,
that left us reeling and, just barely sane.
We live forever to repent and pray,
and hope someday to dull the hollow pain.

Though many summers passed, I can’t forget;
I’m older now and hope I am now wise.
I sometimes read that scroll and shudder yet,
believing life itself is our great prize.

Copyright © Keith Logan | Year Posted 2016

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Firstly, skies grew dark, whilst the winds grew strong,
this ominous progression, showed it would not be long
before towering clouds released their thunderous load
of torrential rain, on the land below.  Though rain bode
well for much needed relief, they held great danger too,
for a lengthy deluge lasting hours, which might ensue,
could flood the low lying regions, when the dry soil,
baked hard from weeks of drought, would likely foil
the penetration of water to the parched depths below,
where roots wither unseen.  Essential for plants to grow,
they’d wait in vain for relief, when heavy cool rains
racing pell mell to the lower reaches of flood plains:
sweep all before their gathered cascading might!
Although rain is needed, it is never a welcome sight
to see it fall heavily, then race away in unseemly haste.
Though desperately essential, it is a diabolical waste,
and further devastates the already stressed, parched land!
Of late Mother Nature shows she wants us to understand
global warming effects are a result of man’s thoughtlessness,
and this is why we see extremes of weather related distress,
manifested all around the globe, as severe rampaging storms,
replace once benign weather systems, accepted as norms.
Lately however, we’ve been fortunate inasmuch as the rain
from damaging storms has passed us by, and we gain
satisfaction, whilst our garden, over which we’ve slaved,
will reach its full potential, with our distressed plants saved,
from the effects of several windy days and oppressive heat.
From life giving rain, which fell:, our day is complete:
with our brown landscape becoming refreshed and green;
changed from the recent dull, ochre brown that has been
our lot.  Due to changes in our weather patterns of late,
the welcome rain coming as it did, has changed the state
of our land in a way that is seen by many as a miracle.
Although this transformation is natural, for this spectacle
we give thanks, hoping nature forgives our ignorance
if we  contain our natural greedy ways and exuberance.
Should we show firm resolve, to change our ways,
then she in turn may ensure we enjoy our future days.

Rhymer.  Aug 5th, 2016.

Copyright © Denis Barter | Year Posted 2016

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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.

Copyright © shannon farlouis | Year Posted 2010

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One Summer Night

Can you believe it my dear?
The passage of time is enough to draw tears                                                This June, we will have been married 44 years

Do you remember when and where we were                                                  when I proposed to you one summer night?
I do, and never will forget it

It was on that embarrassing night in Chicago                                              when I kissed your neck and tasted                                                                the bitterness of your perfume

Yes, it was bitter; but your spirit and
Personality were sweeter than honey.
You are still sweet; and I hope that I
never cause you any taste of bitter

I know there are times that I get busy,                                                    become engaged with something                                                                     and take you for granted.
For such times, I'm sorry

But do not worry my beloved, not even for a moment;
Because I know what I have, and will always love you.
Happy Valentine my dear
02122016 ( PS Contest, Valentine Poem To Your Beloved, sponsored by Nayda Negron)

Copyright © curtis johnson | Year Posted 2016

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River minnows

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
Of heaven

Copyright © Nigel Fox | Year Posted 2010

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Mermaids and watermelon

Summer time I became an aquatic creature
My best friend and I cooled ourselves floating 
Around and round the pool or rocking on an innertube
Waves as high as a couple of girls could splash.
Giggles and sunshine my summer fun times.
Mom would cut a watermelon after it was cold
The juice washed off in the pool and no one noticed
Summer time I grew fins and gills
That went perfectly well with little girl thrills.
Mom didn't know I would jump off the top of the slide
Right into the deep water....double dare you to try it!

Copyright © Doris Culverhouse | Year Posted 2012