Nine and nine

Laura’s hosting at dVerse tonight. She always comes up with interesting and challenging prompts – I think of them as architectural. Tonight we’re thinking about nines – nine line poems and nonets. Laura has given us some lines from great poems to use as the basis for our own work. I couldn’t resist having a go at both halves of the prompt.

Here’s my first one. The first line is taken from W.S. Merwin’s “To the Light of September”/

Summer fading

It seems as though you are still summer
clinging to the last pink roses,
but the early morning chill
lasts a little longer
every day. Autumn
is so close now,
cold fingers
sprinkling
gold.

And here’s the second, which is based on this line: Those/ pale /flowers /might /still /have/ time/ to /fruit from Karina Borowicz’s ‘September Tomatoes

Gooseflight

Those geese flying overhead
pale wings spread out, like
flowers on a blue bedspread
might fly on. They are so strong, they
still have miles to go. It’s
time to seek out warmth,
to hunker down. Autumn’s brought
fruit and frost and morning mist.

Walking at the edge

In this summer of long walks and silences,
closeness and distancing,
small explorations – we pick our way along
the very edges of the field, through thistles,
and green grass, where the wheat
peters out, and small flowers,
bright in the sunlight.
We’re good visitors. We walk the margins,
respect John Barleycorn.

I like the smell,
the raw green smell of wheat,
and the colour, green edging
into gold – sun-warmed, sun-bleached,
sun-fed, sun-ripened, taking us
joyfully and inevitably into autumn;
and I like the sound, small waves
rolling rolling, and I like the movement
of the wind sweeping the heavy-headed wheat,
the ripple of it – water, silk, fur.

I like the life in it.

Rosemarie Gonzales is hosting at dVerse tonight, and we are exploring wheat.

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…

 

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.