dVerse Poetics – Summer

Walt is handling the Poetics for us Today (Tuesday) at dVerse Poets Pub.  He is asking us to write about summer and gave us some examples to us use or for us to choose our own (selections by Eliot, Whitman, Sandburg, Rector, Issa) to name a few. I have chosen one by Issa which I have used for inspiration before and probably shall use again and again.  Come visit us and dive into summer!

“summer night –
even the stars
are whispering to each other” K. Issa

The Mermaid and the Stars
It is high summer.
I sit on my back steps watching
the stars above me and listening
to the cicadas scratching and clicking
from different points in the yard.
So still it is!
So hot even at this late evening time.
I catch a whiff of the gardenia bush
at the edge of the house –
gentle and sweet and reminding me
of summers long ago.
The moon is high and bright
and surrounded by stars.
A cicada on my right and then
the sound of a cicada across the yard.
Back and forth –
I look up again and the stars
twinkle – I come up for air
like a mermaid gasping for water filled breath.
The stars tell me to be still.
They giggle with each other like little girls
telling secrets.
The mermaid swims to the gardenia
and plucks one for her hair.
She looks at the stars one last time
before she drowns in the scent.
The stars fall silent and go to sleep.

Waterhouse, John William; A Mermaid; Royal Academy of Arts

Waterhouse, John William; A Mermaid; Royal Academy of Arts

41 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 14:33:13

    I could almost have guessed you would chose that wonderful haiku as inspiration… and I love how you expanded the imagery of sitting there in the starlit scent… wonderful… BTW this one has wonderful meter.


  2. Victoria C. Slotto
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 14:49:08

    The auditory input of the cicadas which recurs throughout make this so wonderful, Toni. When I hear them (early in the desert) or crickets here in Reno, or the mating call of frogs on the water hazards in the desert, I know summer temperatures are on the horizon.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 21, 2016 @ 15:32:31

      Oh yes! those wonderful night sounds of coming summer. What music they make, my children of the night….Dracula knew his stuff on that one. I love the night and soon, it will be time for owls and squeaking bats and that over achieving mockingbird to give voice to the night.


  3. Walter J. Wojtanik
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 15:22:21

    The aural exuberance of this is striking, Toni. I too expected Issa to tempt your muse. I am glad it had.


  4. Glenn Buttkus
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 15:36:51

    I like the smell of a haiku in the morning, it smells like–victory. This is an excellent rocking of the prompt, & a gentle, loving visit with you, the cosmos, & the solstice. Living in the suburbs, I see very few stars, & hear very few insect or fog sonatas. Thank God, the urban birds still sing all around us.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 21, 2016 @ 15:42:44

      And thank you for those stars! You should be here when my mockingbird, Peat, goes into over achiever mode and sings…all…night. Sometimes the same refrain over and over. Last week I think he did the first six notes from X Files theme a thousand times. His buddy Repeat was sound asleep. We are starting to get people around us and I hate it. But the stars still shine bright and the land around us helps keep us nice and dark at night.


  5. freyathewriter
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 16:25:19

    So lovely! Funny, when I was coming up with my offering, I thought of the stars giggling with each other! I didn’t use that imagery in the end – but what a coincidence!


  6. Sanaa Rizvi
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 16:52:30

    Sigh… this is absolutely stunning work Toni 😀 how I adore the words and images in this poem ❤ Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,


  7. whimsygizmo
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 18:21:31

    I had hoped you would choose Issa, Toni…and how gorgeously you expanded on it. Like an extended haiku, so much noticing. Just beautiful. And I always, always love all things mermaid!


  8. jillys2016
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 19:30:14

    mmmmm – the smell of gardenia! This is so tender 🙂


  9. Michael
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 20:29:38

    You captured the atmosphere so beautifully Toni, loved those evening noises….


  10. Sherry Marr
    Jun 21, 2016 @ 21:42:19

    This is lovely. You took me right there, onto that back step, looking at the stars.


  11. kim881
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 02:02:36

    Ah, Toni, your poem invaded my senses: from ‘the cicadas scratching and clicking’ to the ‘whiff of the gardenia bush’.


  12. http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 03:16:07

    Toni, your poem had me sighing for a summer like yours. So beautiful, heady yet peaceful. I love this poem so much.


  13. Liza Paizis
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 09:11:08

    What beautiful imagery! Inspiration for a painting, indeed….


  14. sarahsouthwest
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 10:13:36

    Made me sigh. You notice such beautiful details, and put them into lovely words. This flows so gracefully.


  15. Charley
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 11:14:43

    A first summer night’s dream poem! Filled with scent and sound and secrets whispered by the stars. Possibly sleep as well… in a hammock. Wonderfully dreamy poem.


  16. Imelda
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 15:07:31

    Your piece evoked some nostalgia for my tropical summers of long ago. It was a fine and satisfying read. 🙂


  17. Linda Kruschke
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 15:31:58

    I could feel the warmth in this and found it most relaxing and peaceful.


  18. Mish
    Jun 22, 2016 @ 21:10:15

    This is a magical piece. I could visualize bright pages of a children’s storybook especially with the giggling stars and mermaids. Loved it!
    Oh..and someday I hope to hear what those cicadas really sound like! 🙂


  19. lillian
    Jun 24, 2016 @ 07:13:31

    Just catching up this morning — finally. This is magical! I love the scent of gardenias — such delicate petals and such a wonderful feeling they give. Stars giggling and a mermaid — love it! 🙂


  20. Trackback: dVerse Poetics – Summer — kanzen sakura – SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS COVENANT HOUSE

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