Summer (A Poem)

Several years ago, my friend Christine and I were taking a poetry class at the local senior center. One hot afternoon, our instructor asked us to sit outside for about ten minutes and listen to sounds around us, then write a poem about what we heard. Below is what I wrote. Click this link to hear me read it. I hope it warms your heart on a wintry day.




In the heat of the afternoon, saws whine.

Equipment clatters, rattles.

Cars enter the parking lot.

A plane flies overhead.

A tepid breeze kisses the back of my neck,

brings little relief from the relentless sun.

I stare at my reflection in the window, see nothing.

The cool interior beckons.


Christine’s poem inspired by this exercise was recently published in Helen: A Literary Magazine and nominated for a Pushcart prize. Although she didn’t win, it’s still an honor to be nominated. I inspired this poem, and you can read it here.

Now, it’s your turn. Take about ten minutes and listen to sounds around you: the hum of your computer or furnace, a dog barking outside, your neighbor shoveling newly fallen snow from his walk while his car idles in the driveway. Then write about what you hear. It doesn’t have to be a poem. Please feel free to share your results in the comments field.


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6 thoughts on “Summer (A Poem)

  1. Oh how I miss summer. How nice it is to hear the birds and the breese swooshing through the pines behind my home. I love the crashes of thunder rolling across the sky and the sound of rain on the driveway. The air feels so soft and smells so lovely afterward. Even the distant hum of a lawn mower is a drouse-inducing balm. Winter is so cold and silent.

  2. Abbie–I was pleased to read about another interesting activity of your local writers’ group. Thanks for sharing the poem of your friend Christine Valentine. How wonderful that you and your brailler are mentioned in her poem. I do like her poem’s blending of the city sounds with music and then the progression to the classroom with the fragrances and musical reference to brailling. What a grand blog post! Take care! Alice

  3. Actually, Alice, I was using a slate and stylus since it was easier to carry around than a Braillewriter. Nowadays, I use a BrailleSense which hardly makes any noise unless I forget to pack headphones which I did yesterday when I attended our monthly meeting. I was able to turn off the speech, but when it goes into sleep mode, and when I wake it up, it plays a cheerful tune. It’ll be interesting to see what Chris writes about that.

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