One Summer (in England)

Copyright: James Rainsford, Used with Permission

A sudden rainbow across heavy skies
brings rare sunshine and fleeting light on water.
I throw off the winter cold and bare pale skin
to the sun, paint myself anew with colours
fresh and bright. The days go by
like a smile on an empty face
and I ripen in the sunshine
beneath an oozing, soft green light,
tangling serotonin in my hair,
lemon-blossom from the meadow at my feet.
But a shadow drags behind me
whenever the weather breaks.
Steady rain lashes at the window,
splashes city parks and dead end streets,
trickles down my neck and pools around my wrists.
As the darkness spreads there’s not much of me left.
I run towards the fragile, summer sun.



©2012 Louise Hastings

Written for the wonderful prompt at dVersepoets Poetics ~ Patterns, Pictures and Poems hosted by James Rainsford

35 thoughts on “One Summer (in England)

  1. i much like catching serotonin in my hair…and yes…i’m with you…running towards the fragile summer sun…the winter left pale marks on the body…and probably on the soul as well…def. need some sunshine..

  2. oh i felt the bit of desperation there in the end…the sun def paints me and i look forward to tasting it surely in the summer/spring and feeling its rejuvenating kiss on my skin….the rain collecting in spine and wrist is a great touch too…

  3. This spoke to me about depression. The way that despite the breaking weather a shadow still drags- and especially running towards the fragile sun- I related to this feeling- of knowing the creeping shadow – those tell tale signs of depression and trying to escape from it. Loved the line about catching serotonin – maybe someone needs to invent some serotonin shampoo! Ha ha- loved this write Louis- getting to know and thoroughly enjoy your stylisations

    • Thanks Stuart! Yes, you’re right about the depression thing…it’s definitely come out in this write…I love the idea of a serotonin shampoo though! lol…appreciate the read and comment very much … 🙂

  4. This has so much dream to it and the somber tones grow with apparent realization of the days that change their form. The following line struck me with its sense of joy:

    paint myself anew with colours
    fresh and bright

    We can indeed bring ourselves into being, reflect the light that comes from the new day.

  5. I agree with Charles, above, but would add that your poem makes it all too clear what a constant battle it can be against the elements, and that there is the necessity for a conscious running ‘…towards the fragile, summer sun.’ As always, Louise, you do more to evoke thought with mood and texture than any poet I know. Excellent interpretation of this pic.

    • Thank you, Hedgewitch! I always appreciate your comments so much…yep, winter can be such hard work. Spring brings light into life again…makes everything seem so much easier… 🙂

  6. This is such a good example of sensual detail that tells a deeper story and creates a powerful mood, Louise. I would like to use it for an example in Thursday’s prompt at dVerse, if it’s okay with you.

  7. So sensuous and so fragile. The poem lies at the edges of your words. I would never feel that way in England because when I’m there the sun always shines (it really does) and because to be there turns me into my own sun as my face beams at every step, every building, ever copse, every horse, every hotel. I love it so much I don’t believe I could ever be sad there; yet, ’tis not to be and I understand that any place can have that effect if one is sad.

    • Hello & thank you, Gay. Yes, sadness can follow us around wherever we go, sometimes….I’m very pleased you love England though…this poem sounds critical of my home, but I do love my country…and although the weather can get very dreary at times, it does mean it’s wonderfully green. My poems are often my catharsis of an emotion/feeling that I have at the time. I actually wrote this at 4am this morning because I couldn’t sleep…I was feeling tired & a bit morose… & so it came out in the poem…an early night for me tonight 🙂

  8. My dear Louise, this poem speaks to the fragility of life and joy. How, if we allow it, the darkness is always ready to come back.

    But this poem also is a lesson in what we have learned. That we must embrace all the light and warmth we find in each moment, even if it is the merest of warmth, the dimmest of light.

    Stunning, touching, and sublimely yours in its capture of the magic in nature.

    Sigh…as you do every other day, you take my breath away again. 🙂 xoxoxox

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  10. Will be checking the shelves at Boots this autumn for Serotonin shampoo ~ lol 🙂

    Well, not much to add to all the wonderful accolades, Louise. A stunning poem about the ebb & flow of mood: from the dreary falling rain of unhappiness to the sudden splashes of sunlight as hope temporarily blinds our eyes … & our reaching out towards the most fragile of lights when despair threatens once more. You have captured it all & much more in a downpour of words that leave my senses absolutely soaked through. Beautiful write 🙂

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  12. They’ve all said it better than I ever could. I just think it’s beautiful and I thank you for sharing. !

  13. The fragility of the summer sun – in this climate zone we live in we know so well about it. For me a beautiful allegory of life. Interesting is the comma in your last line.

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