That time between summer and autumn

The blackberries have ripened while my back was turned –
like a child growing in fits and starts, suddenly
taller than the lamp in the corner – bursting out of his clothes –
and the apples are swelling. There’s a tree that I pass by each day
that’s suddenly covered in fruit.

The world’s waking up from its summertime dreaming;
it rolls up its sleeves and gets on with the business of harvest:
there’s quinces to ripen and pears tightly clenched on the tree
and the apples are swelling. The trees that have hidden all summer
are suddenly covered in fruit.

The sun soaked through to my bones, and the bones of the land.
Now we have rain – that began as a miracle, and stayed on…and on –
dimming the lights and soothing the fever, scolding us gently
for being so foolish, as if we are children who sneaked to the fair,
and gorged ourselves crazy on neon and spinning and swooping, but now
the apples are swelling and the trees that have thirsted all summer
are suddenly covered in fruit.

Did I mention the berries are ripening?

 

For Bjorn at dVerse, who asks us to broaden out our punctuation choices. I’ve done my best. I’m probably an over-user of ellipses…but I do love them so…but I couldn’t find room for an exclamation mark! Oh well…

 

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Abyss

days like this, when we take the time
to lie and gaze into the blue abyss
as if we could tumble headlong
head over heels
from the close cropped turf
up up up
through the bright spangling
of the skylark’s song,
high high high
over the rolling surf
and the distant rumble of it,
and the mist it makes
that catches light
and shatters rainbows,
into that great arching blueness –
these are the days I yearn for
when I yearn for summer

 

A bit sunnier today, though it was another darkish quotation for Jilly’s month long exploration of Unreason. 

“So I sit on the edge, wagging my feet above the abyss”

Jim Harrison, from Bridge/Dead Man’s Float.

Summer rain – a trimeter for Frank

The rain comes down in rods,
In sheets, in cats and dogs,
We sit and watch the day
Dissolve, get washed away.

Like maidens in a tower
Beseiged by men of power
Dark arrows from the sky
Keep us at home, and dry

And all the dripping leaves
The darkly clouded trees,
The raindrops on the glass,
The mud be-spattered grass

Are things that give rain joy,
She treats them as a toy –
She’d play with us, no doubt,
If we went running out

And jumped and danced in mud
And laughed at the small flood
That tumbles down the lane
And sings a song of rain.

 

Te TUM te TUM te TUM. A trimeter for Frank, who is hosting MTB at dVerse. For my American readers – this is what happens in England in the summer. Ah, well, we make the most of it. In fact, when I went to tag this, “summer rain” was already a tag, so it’s obviously a common theme for me!

Flicker – quadrille for dVerse

Scents flicker
as scents do
here/gone/here/gone
swift gesture
of honeysuckle
glimpse of
jasmine,

the stone
is warm
against my
bare feet

and dark wings
flicker

as the swallows

fly high,
darting,
dancing,
chasing the air,
scrawling
“summer”
over the
purpling
sky.

Happy 6th birthday to dVerse, happy writing and adventuring. It’s open again, after a summer break, and  Grace asks us to use the word “flicker” in our quadrilles. 

Summer Time

Summer rain spills warm –

Roses hang their heads – but soon –

They will be nourished

 

A little summer time haiku for Heeding Haiku with Chèvrefeuille.  I’m never quite sure what I’m doing with a classical haiku, so if anyone wants to point out where I’m going wrong, I’d be very grateful. I’m here to learn and grow. 

Summer – haibun for dVerse

We come here all through the winter. We’ve swum here on days when the sea has been a great, grey cat, tossing us like tiny toys. We’ve emerged shivering, glowing with cold and triumph. We’ve been the only swimmers, sometimes sharing the water with gleaming black clad surfers, sometimes sharing the beach with dog-walkers wrapped in coats and scarves.

Today, however, it’s summer. I’ve picked my son up from a hot coach, after a long drive back from a science fair. There’s a pair of shorts and a t-shirt in a bag on the back seat,and his swimming trunks are in the boot. We’ve collected his best friend, and an older brother who is wilting in the heat, and I’ve brought them to the beach. We’ve picked our way over the pebble ridge, clambering over the smoothly rounded stones, and slipped and slithered our way down the other side, carrying rugs, towels and ice cold drinks.

Up by the causeway there’s a gathering of people, brightly coloured, making their way in and out of the sea. Here, where we are, it’s quieter. We dump our stuff, and plunge into the water, relishing the coolness of it, looking due west, to where the hot sun will sizzle into the ocean in a few hours time. The solstice has brought us the longest, hottest day we can remember, and we are loving it.

Sun hovers, holds back –
cannot bear to leave the day –
gold path in the sea

Dverse is open, and the very graceful Grace is asking for summery haibuns. We had a mini heatwave last week, but we’re back to English summer weather now. Still, a girl can dream.

NaPoWriMo 27 – exploring taste

The tastes of summer float upon the breeze,
Look, and you’ll find them, here among
The tang of berries, ripped up basil leaves:

Lick salty skin from playing in the sea’s
Wild rolling waves the whole day long –
The tastes of summer float upon the breeze –

Picnics laid out beneath green shading trees,
Faint woodsmoke tang, that floats and weaves among
The tang of berries, ripped up basil leaves –

Vanilla kisses soothing grass-scratched knees,
Wild thyme, the flavour of a sky lark’s song,
The tastes of summer float upon the breeze –

Pods popping, bright green shiny peas
Bounce on your palm, and roll upon your tongue,
The tang of berries, ripped up basil leaves.

Relish it all, before the summer leaves,
Flavours fade quickly, and the nights grow long,
The tastes of summer float upon the breeze,
The tang of berries, ripped up basil leaves.

NaPoWriMo invites an exploration of taste. I struggled with inspiration. The Red Queen advises Alice:  if in doubt drop a curtsey. If she were a poet she would advise: if in doubt, try a villanelle. 

Summer loving

Summer loving
Happens so fast
Tastes of cider,
Barbecue and
Strawberries;
Feels like sunshine
Warm upon my winter skin;
Smells of cut grass
Roses and vanilla,
Sends a skylark
Soaring through the
Atmosphere,
Lights me up
Like ligntning
In a summer storm.

Summer loving
Happens so slow,
Apples ripen
Through the summer days;
Summer evenings
Drift towards the twilight,
Maybe there’s music
Floating on the breeze;
Lights me up
Like sunset
Lights the ocean.

Walt at Dverse asked us to borrow a line from another poet and write a summer poem. I kind of cheated. It’s not really a line from a poem – but I’m sure you’ve all seen Grease…

I need to credit Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey who wrote that original iconic song. Summer Lovin’ indeed.

Ryokuu – Summer rain haibun

It rains all day, on and off, gentle pattering against the window, not loud enough to drown our conversation, but strong enough to make us pause and look outwards, at the garden dissolving like a painting under water, colours blending and merging. At first the thirsty ground drinks it up, then eventually sickens of it, turns away, lets the water run down the path and out to the lane. Each rose holds a million tiny mirrors, the cranesbill holds its face up to be washed clean. Each blade of grass is jeweled with crystals, each leaf is gem studded. I hold a fortune in my hand, then let it fall. We stand in silence, all words lost, showered away.

Each drop a secret
Summer rain whispers into
The flower’s cool heart

A Haibun – it’s Monday atDVerse and we are asked to write a haibun on the subject of rain. We’ve had quite a lot of that this last week or so – I consider myself an expert! – in rain, if not haibuns!