Cue up Ella and Louis and think of life as easy. Day 3 of the #30DaysofSummerWritingChallenge gave us this prompt “What does it mean to take your ease in summer?” But all you have to do is mention the first bars of the Gershwin classic and I am back in the summers of my salad days. I was in Washington, DC. and, to semi-quote Noel Coward, never is there a more tropical zone even in September. But what can you expect from a city built on reclaimed swamp? The Mall used to be a canal, but when Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie fell in and then died of malaria he order it to be filled in.

It has to be said that I was in DC at the height of the disco craze. And Saturday afternoon Soul Train was on tv. The title is also borrowed from the sound track of my youth.

Summer in the City

Summertime is all slow saxophone
or rocking up to the Soul Train beat,
hopping on to the swing of the song.
It's shimmy, shiver. You sweat your bones
in humidity and vapid heat.
But we danced, damn it! The whole night long.
We were young, single and feeling sexy.
Prowling. Not enough drink in the land
to quench a summertime thirst or lust.
The night cools. It gets loud and boozy.
Talk turns to beach drives, sun up on sand.
We dance out the dog days of August.
Summertime high on testosterone.
And its swan song on lone saxophone.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Apologies for late posting. My circadian rhymns are all over the shop at the moment. Antihistimenes may also have their part to play.

Featured image Photo by Meg Barnett on UnsplashFeatured image

30 Days of Summer Writing

With only six weeks to get me over the year milestone of writing a poem a day and posting in here as the Poetry Daily, I signed on to Angela T. Carr’s 30 Days of Summer Writing Challenge. The writing is never usually the problem. Plucking an idea out of the ether each morning is often the challenge. So I cut myself some slack and signed on to Carr’s challenge posted in her WordPress blog A Dreaming Skin. The challenge is to take fifteen minutes of fast writing and ‘GO!’ on the prompt of the day. Today’s challenge is ‘Schools Out!’

We were asked about what we liked about summer. Well, not much in my case, being a spring and autumn kind of woman. The midges like to breakfast, lunch and dinner on me. My pale skin burns easily. I hate sweating and I wilt in the humidity and heat. At a pinch I offered the long light of the days as one good, likeable thing about them.

But this prompt did remind me of the long school holidays of my youth. We had three months in my particular corner of Pennsylvania back in the 1960s and 1970s. Which felt much longer in child time terms. Also, I grew up in a time before blanket air conditioning in homes and businesses. The Berwick Public Library was air conditioned and I spent a great deal of time there in my tweens and early teens.

Temporary Release

A light-headed feeling from lilac's blooming
in morning's dewiness before the heat.
The chalk board erased: a blank slate presents.
Time is one's own, a loosened regime.
Heat will soon relax all of our routines.
What shall I do today? What kind of play?
What worlds to visit in the books I read?
All considered as I languished in day's heat,
its oppression my freedom, in retreat.

Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Featured image Photo by Aubrey Rose Odom on Unsplash