The Sleeping Porch

For Laura Bloomsbury’s prompt on dVerse Poets Pub – poem extracts by Laurie Lee for us to use to write our own poem from.



The Sleeping Porch
“Darkness came, full of moths and beetles. I was oppressed by the velvety emptiness of the word and swathes of soft grass. Then the fumes of the night put me to sleep” (As I walked out one Midsummer morning) Laurie Lee

The summer heat oppressed me on the sleeping porch
as I tossed to and fro.
The fumes of the night overwhelmed me –
the scents of gardenia, honeysuckle, magnolia
mingled with the smell of newly mown grass.
Watching the fireflies winking on and off
I slowly succumbed to the night
and at long last I slept.


NOTES:  Sleeping porches were once a common feature in old Southern homes. There was a hammock or two, chain fed ceiling fans, chaise lounges, and the porch was usually screened in to keep skeeters out. They provided much needed coolness in homes without air conditioning.  Our home had a sleeping porch.  It was the next best thing to sleeping outside in the coolness of the night.

18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura Bloomsbury
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 17:21:17

    such evocative smells – how well you have conjured the sleeping porch nights


  2. map195
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 17:37:28

    nice blog post ….


  3. msjadeli
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 18:06:00

    I’m visualizing being mesmerized to sleep by the blinking fireflies…


  4. Glenn A. Buttkus
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 18:25:02

    Some of the old Victorian homes we rented in the50’s in Seattle had sleeping porches. I like how you used some of Lee’s words to connect to his theme.


    • kanzensakura
      Jun 25, 2019 @ 18:36:31

      The home in which I grew up was one of the old Victorian homes complete with water closets, dumb waiters, sleeping porch, and butler’s pantry

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  5. Charmed Chaos
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 18:48:36

    Toni- I remember those nights as a child- thanks for your wonderful memories.


  6. Christine Bolton
    Jun 25, 2019 @ 20:43:31

    Beautiful imagery 💕🙂


  7. Jane Dougherty
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 05:30:43

    A lovely evocation of a summer night, so unlike Laurie Lee’s but so similar in its sensuousness.


  8. Misky
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 06:06:26

    This brought back a lot of childhood memories. Thanks for that.


  9. Truedessa
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 07:03:47

    The description of the fireflies winking off and on made me smile. I haven’t seen a firefly in a while. I imagine sleeping porches were great on hot nights. I would probably stare at the stars until I drifted into a slumber.


  10. lynn__
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 11:17:10

    Sounds wonderful, Toni, even though it was still hot and humid on the porch. Fireflies lit up my night poem as well 🙂


  11. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 15:41:59

    I would love a place like that.. we do the next best thing and sleep with open windows… here daylight come early so being up with the birds can easily be a little bit too early


  12. Grace
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 17:09:23

    Those fumes of the night can be overwhelming. How nice to have a sleeping porch and take in that smell and scents.


  13. robtkistner
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 19:25:03

    Wonderful, to be reminded of sleeping porches Toni. We had one when I was growing up. My father called it the summer porch. Nice write!


  14. memadtwo
    Jun 26, 2019 @ 21:46:07

    We used to sleep on the porch on my father’s army old cots…also in the basement. This brought back memories. (K)


  15. Frank J. Tassone
    Jul 03, 2019 @ 17:08:41

    A sensory delight, Toni!


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