Tag Archives: poem

Summer, my love

It’s hot. But you will not hear me complain about the heat this summer.

Last summer was tainted for me. I was dealing with a big problem that clouded everything else. In fact, this problem, one that is almost entirely out of my control, has been on my table for the last year. It was made worse because the people who were in a position to help, didn’t. However, this summer, so far, it’s a bit better.

Two years ago in the summer I was dealing with a different kind of problem. It too is not now the issue it was then.

I don’t know if either of these two problems I cryptically describe, will get bad again. It’s certainly possible. But right now, in this summer of 2016, I am grateful for the improvements because they have freed me to enjoy the season I love best. And when I say enjoy, I mean to feel like I’m paying attention. That I’m not missing my favorite time of year and everything I treasure about it. Because when I’m preoccupied with a trouble, far too much of my attention, my capacity for focus, even on good things, is siphoned off.

There’s something else at work here. Earlier this year I wrote of how a man I knew killed himself. It’s now 4 months since he died. I continue to struggle to believe he really is gone and never coming back, yet he’s become a reference point for me. I think about how he’s not here and not getting to do all the fun things summer offers. He will not have an ice cream cone. He will not listen to an outdoor concert. He will not take a walk after dinner on a balmy evening. He will not ride his bike or play tennis. He will not sit at an outdoor café and have a cold drink with friends. He will not go to an afternoon matinee at the theater to escape the heat. He will do nothing. He will not do anything ever again.

By contrast, I am here. These summer pleasures are mine for the taking. It is bittersweet to feel this way.

I wrote a little something this week:

Hair blowing back untethered
Earrings jangling in the breeze
Gravel flies beneath my tires
Peddling like I’m ten again
I am alive.


very, very short poem #2

The snow fell reluctantly as if it had thought better too late.

Things Men Have Said To Me (#19)

We were grown adults and newly involved. He wrote a poem for me. I was touched. However, I wasn’t the only one who received a copy.

HIM (gloating): “I sent a copy to my old girlfriend so she could see how happy I am now with my new girlfriend.”

ME: “What?? You sent her the poem to stick it to her?!”

Without telling him, I threw the poem away.


Poe-tic Thoughts

I was already thinking about writing a post on an Edgar Allen Poe poem, when I saw on another blog that January 19 is Poe’s birthday.

If you were to ask me my favorite poem (not that you would), I’d probably say Annabel Lee. Wikipedia says the poem is Poe’s last complete one, published in 1849, not long after his death. I first heard it in childhood, and although I didn’t understand it till much later, I think there must have been something in the cadence which resonated with me from the first.

In 2011, the amazing, indefatigable Stevie Nicks – who turns 67 this year – set the poem to music. Initially, I was surprised by the fast, upbeat tone, but quickly loved the song and think it totally works. In my “research” for this post, I discovered that Joan Baez set Annabel Lee to music in 1967, but that version, which I’d never heard, lacks a hook and doesn’t have staying power. I also found that Alesana, a North Carolina band by way of Baltimore did a 2010 concept album, The Emptiness, based in part around Poe’s poem. Those are just a few of the works inspired by Annabel Lee.

Clearly, I have plenty of company in finding something hypnotic, beautiful, and lasting in Poe’s sad poetic tale.