“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”

 from “Travels With Charley: In Search of America” by John Steinbeck

On this day (Independence Day in the United States) we consider this quote. There are many comparisons implied or assumed in this line. Summer to winter, warmth and cold, good and bad, bitter and sweet. Write a two phase poem writing about two converse items and find a balance within. You might make your title the comparison: Hot and Cold, Light and Dark… But, be sure to mention summer somewhere in your poem! (We are celebrating summer after all!)


  1. Soon off to Heathrow to pick-up John. I am overly excited.

    White Summers and Black Winters

    Age has taken the heat
    out of us. Petals detach,
    day on day. Aimless as
    steamboats. Once adrift,
    we were the sun, bright,
    a chase of white summer
    heat. Our days fast and
    irresistibly flushed.
    We were brassy. Sassy
    as a full moon, and we
    were steady, trembling
    with excitement. But

    age has taken the heat
    out of us. We still flow —
    some days motionless.
    Our dawn is the moving sky,
    and we nap our way through
    black winters. Our dreams,
    they split like water. And
    we take to walking sticks,
    and trembling hands. We are
    a thousand silver bubbles,
    not quite ready to burst
    into the knife-sharp-light.


    © Misky 2016

    Far-off Nearby

    We are quite different, my dear, you and I
    My numbered years with your much younger vie
    Yesterday, as if stating something quite new
    You declared, I’ll never see eye to eye with you
    And I couldn’t help but smile just a bit
    As I recalled the wee while when you used to fit
    In the crook of my arms without a fight
    Our only battle-line drawn in middle-night
    Then I thought these days were far-off as the sky
    That waits winter-gray for true-blue of July
    While the white storm howls through saplings standing free
    Against the jowls of nature in the shelter of full-grown trees

    ©Janet Martin


    Love is the corner we turn
    that leads us to why we are here.
    Though we must shield our eyes
    from the brightness of its sun,
    gold rays can transform our hearts
    and make us God’s true children.

    Some say love can surely burn,
    that we would be wise if we fear
    what can prove our demise.
    We can stand or we can run;
    pay the price each time love starts,
    but only if we’re willing.



    When the autumn comes
    and brings harvest sums
    to the summer’s crop of maize
    and the red-tinged trees
    and the chickadees
    await frost and shortened days,

    there’s no hint of cold
    in the vesper gold
    as the juncos coast to ground,
    but the very sight
    of one grey-backed sprite
    hints that chills will soon abound.

       Green, hot
           Swimming, gardening, picnicking
              Creeks, rivers, lakes, hills,
                   Sledding, skating, skiing
                        White, cold


    Solstice has passed and at long last
    summer beams, steamy temperatures
    to nurture a heart until the leaves fall
    and starts the winter approaching.
    Always a buffer, one never
    encroaching on the other. Seasonal
    sister and brother separated by their
    sedate cousins spread across a dozen months.
    Spring and Fall call in their time, but I’m
    warmed by the summer sun as long
    as it fulfills its run until winter comes!

    Feelin’ Groovy

    As inevitably as winter leads to spring,
    leads to summer, fall follows.

    Today looks to be a good day,
    nothing too grand, nor magical
    simply a few hours of quiet enjoyment,
    some idle conversation with friends,
    cheered on by the crisp sunlight of early summer,
    hands shielding eyes against the glare,
    smelling the ocean in the thin clouds,
    down here, close to the border with Mexico.

    The frigid mornings of winter are gone now,
    but summer still sleeps,
    not quite ready for her big entrance.
    We are just past the solstice, and she’s still young,
    so, satisfied, we capture bits
    of today’s breezy brilliance,
    enlivened by the simple pleasure of it all,
    grateful for this good day.

    As inevitably as spring leads to summer,
    fall must follow, and then again winter.

    As assuredly as heart leads to joy,
    love soon follows.
    As completely as love leads to sharing,
    peace eventually follows.
    As securely as peace leads to calm,
    life truly follows.
    As predictably as life leads to death,
    new life always follows.

    And so it is.


    Freedom or Slavery

    Election year summer in full swing
    Time to rally the loyal and dedicated
    Time to persuade the undecided
    And time to buy the rest

    Election year summer; here we go again
    Time to promise that which cannot be
    Time to blame those on the other team
    And time to spend billions

    Election year summer; the nation at risk
    At risk of picking the wrong candidate
    At risk of handing power to the corrupt
    And at risk of freedoms lost

    Election year summer; all hands on deck
    It’s time to listen to what’s being said
    It’s time to understand the consequences
    And it’s time to vote

    Election year summer; what will we choose
    Will we choose to save our precious nation
    Will we choose to vote America first
    Or will we vote selfish pride

    Election year summer; America in the balance
    Freedom in the balance
    Slavery on the horizon
    Vote wisely, my friend

    © Earl Parsons

  10. Spring and Fall: A Kid’s Fib

    out the door
    into summer days.
    The sun and fun never ended…
    ’til too soon we were
    falling back

  11. Pingback: Poem: Spring and Fall: A Kid’s Fib – Wanna Get Published, Write!

    Wet and Dry

    I hope for rain
    a gentle rain to
    soak the ground
    water my parched
    plants, fill the puddles
    for the birds

    You wish for sun
    a bright sun that
    warms the air
    an invitation to
    come outside and play

    and when the sun shines through the rain
    we find our hopes and wishes
    mingled in a summer rainbow

    Flour In The Balance

    Add more brown sugar
    if you want a sweeter
    flavor. Add more vinegar
    to tang it up. Add more hot
    sauce to spice it just right.
    Keep tasting, simmer
    slowly. If you have juggled
    your ingredients well,
    your barbecue sauce
    will be tangy, hot, and sweet.
    Slather it on!


    We line the street
    Despite the heat;
    Await the beat
    Of drums.

    The cadence stirs
    My heart, and spurs
    Excitement! Here
    It comes!

    The Stars and Stripes
    And countless types
    Of instruments
    Pass by.

    The pride I feel
    Is deep and real
    Beneath mid-
    Summer’s sky.

    My father’s band,
    Baton in hand
    Directing more
    Than tunes.

    His students find
    He’s guided minds
    And morals
    Many moons.

    Time marched along
    So fast. So long,
    Oh fleeting song
    Of summer.

    Now winter’s come
    And slowed the drum –
    But oh, I love
    The drummer.

    (With love and great respect for Dad … drummer, conductor, teacher, father)

    © Marie Elena Good, 2016


    So many said we wouldn’t last
    Me – born a winter child
    beneath the sign of the confused
    fishes – one swimming up,
    one opposite.
    You – a true summer being,
    birthed regally, a Leo, one
    of the fire signs.
    I could appreciate the skepticism
    water and fire signs together –
    didn’t bode well.

    Until it did – there’s no astrological
    accounting for the passion we’ve found.
    Against all odds, you fired alive
    my winters, and I soothed
    your overheated summers
    without putting out the love
    that’s smoldered between
    us these many decades.

    Even now, you have just to glance
    at me and I’m gone
    You tell me it’s the same for you
    and I’ve no reason to doubt
    We know how lucky we are – love
    is rare enough, love and passion?
    I hesitate to name it lest it evaporate.
    You wink, flash your dimples,
    coax me to turn out the lights. Okay.

  16. Pingback: Sound and Silence–Poetic Bloomings, Day 3 | Victoria C. Slotto, Author

    The Good and the Bad

    Windows open to let the breeze blow in
    but not the bugs.

    Grass between the toes
    but not the dog do-do.

    Butterflies tickling your skin
    but not those ticks or mosquitos.

    Watermelon dribbling down your chin
    but not the bird bombs from overhead.

    The smell of freshly mowed grass
    but not the gasoline.

    Roads being fixed
    but not the smell of freshly poured asphalt – headache!

    Windows open at night
    but not the Fourth of July weekend.

    Ah, summer –
    a love and hate season.

  18. This prompt eluded me when I saw it a week ago…finally catching up, posting my haibun, here. I’ll include it on my blog later.


    The family “summer vacations” are planned. Money laid away. And children are counting the days until they hit their favorite vacation spots. I will see some go to the beach to play in sand and surf; others, to the Happiest Place on earth. Photos will be taken…many of which I will offer to take so dad or mom is not left out. Souvenirs purchased. Memories will be made, and each family will go their own way at the end of the day. Together. And I will return to my home. Alone.

    is sometimes obstructed
    by my own views

  19. Pingback: Alone In A Crowd | echoes from the silence

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