POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.


One week has passed and we’re off on a productive July P.A.D. experience. We’ve worked with quotes of summer, poems of summer, Songs with Summer in the title and a book with Summer. Today we pull another tome off the shelves for inspiration. (And in doing so, pay homage to our own favorite Sicilian, Salvatore Buttaci) The volume we are choosing is entitled “That Summer in Sicily – A Love Story” by Marlena de Blasi.

That Summer in Sicily by Marlena de Blasi

That Summer in Sicily
by Marlena de Blasi

The story: “At villa Donnafugata, long ago is never very far away,” writes bestselling author Marlena de Blasi of the magnificent but crumbling castle in the mountains of Sicily that she  accidentally finds one summer while traveling with her husband, Fernando. de Blasi is befriended by Tosca, the matriarch of the villa, an elegant and beautiful woman-of-a-certain-age who conveys her life-spanning love story with the last prince of Sicily descended from French nobility.


Today’s prompt? Write a “That Summer in ________” poem about a place that brings a fond (or otherwise) memory from summers past. Maybe a coming of age poem, or an expose. A self-discovery perhaps. If you are at a loss for such a place and time, maybe an interesting person you may have met in your summer travels can spark your writing today! As always, Bon Voyage and Good Poems to you all!

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  1. What a great prompt. So many choices…childhood memories, teenage love and loss, Vietnam…oh the dilemma

  2. Really good prompt. Thank you.

    That Summer of Crows

    I was ten.
    I was smaller then.
    The world was smaller, and
    that made everything bigger.

    Made the sky bigger.
    Made the old oak bigger
    than sky, and when I stood
    under that tree, clouds
    disappeared into its leaves,

    into its shadows. It was wind-
    flicked and dry as old books.
    And some days, I’d lay myself
    under that tree, watching
    crows sit on telephone lines.

    Grandpa died later that year,
    but for now, I owned my summers,
    and I spent hours watching
    those sooty-black crows
    weightless as a shadow.


    (c) Misky 2016

    The summer of thunder

    To find youself
    exposed to lighting,
    in the mountains
    when even father’s panic.

    I was ten I think,
    and didn’t care
    I had to soak, puddled wet
    through clothes.

    You can calculate
    the distance to the lighting
    by counting seconds
    from flash to BOOM.

    But if they coincide
    the rumble’s sharp,
    more a shot,
    and you rather count
    the minutes till they cease.

    Afterwards the streams
    where rivers brown
    and home we lit a fire
    to keep warm.

  4. Pingback: The summer of thunder | Björn Rudbergs writings

    Those Summer Years of Youth

    We thought Time was bondage
    Those summer years of youth
    It wasn’t until they were gone
    We realized the truth

    …those miles of corn we hoed
    Those whiles we whiled away
    Beneath the sprawling canopy
    Of maple-willow sway

    That swing in the hay-loft
    Strung from the highest truss
    Daring timid riders to brave
    Its burlap Pegasus

    …those childish tears we shed
    Those chores that seemed so dull
    Those chatter-jolly supper-times
    When every plate was full

    The monotone of clocks
    The drone of heat-waved haze
    Where boredom conceived building-blocks
    And Mom, another babe

    Those years before the years
    That drew us from home’s doors
    And we left without looking back
    Oblivious to shores

    Those brother-sister days
    Of farm-life laugh-love-learn
    They slipped through us, one-way freeways
    To ports of no-return

    We thought it was bondage
    Those years before we flew
    Away from the safe haven of
    The only life we knew

    more ‘fill-in’ here: http://anotherporch.blogspot.ca/2016/07/those-summer-years-of-youth.html


    I spent the hours writing poetry
    pretending the beach was my domain
    and with a turn of phrase I could transform
    the sparkling sand into diamonds,
    collect them in the sack of memory,
    enough to buy the sea and ride her
    like a mariner to the mountain gates
    of our Sicilian village of Acquaviva.

    Uncle Onorfio and I drank
    Messina Beer on the balcony
    of his Cefalù home that overlooked
    the sea I loved. He talked of Baltimore
    where he once lived, the wife who left him,
    the sons who rarely came now to visit.
    “You’re like a son to me, Turiddu,”
    He said, tears glistening like the sea.

    Today, so many years washed away
    by time’s rushing waters, I still return
    to Cefalù, if only in my memories.
    I spend the lavish treasures gathered there
    and it all comes swooshing back to me:
    the joy bells ringing in my ears,
    those hypnotic waves, my uncle’s laughter.
    “A saluti,” he says. “One more beer for Cefalù!”


  7. William Preston on said:


    Sand dunes and salty air abound
    as waves come flowing in and pound
    the shore beside a verdant lea;
    the gulls and terns are gliding free
    and yet there’s stillness all around.

    By day this is the place to be,
    to watch how serendipity
    and colors laced with scents have crowned
    sand dunes and salty air,

    but nighttime truly does astound:
    the stars surround from rim to ground,
    reflecting on the bay and sea;
    these points of light proclaim to me
    that summer heat cannot confound
    sand dunes and salty air.

    That Summer at the Lake

    The setting was ideal…
    a clear, blue lake
    with sandy beaches
    and summery breezes.

    The people were willing…
    two boys with shaggy blond hair
    and two brunette girls
    in bikinis.

    We were breathing hormones
    and whispering pheromones
    in each look and smile
    that passed between us.

    Then there was that walk
    late at night
    when our parents got mad
    and yelled

    but we were walking
    on the summer romance cloud
    and their anger just ricocheted
    from cloud to cloud

    like a silver ball in a pinball machine
    and our secret smiles
    couldn’t be wiped from our faces
    as we reveled

    in being…us,
    up at the lake
    that summer
    in ’83.

  9. connielpeters on said:

    That Summer in Cheyenne

    I met you there one summer night
    A gospel group performed at church
    Your solo clapping caught my sight
    When others had all quenched the urge

    The pastor introduced me to
    Some P-A friends of yours that day
    I didn’t have one single clue
    I’d meet my groom-to-be that way

    The fun I had that summer there
    Could fill a thick, expansive book
    No other summer would compare
    To Pennsylvania I went back

    Wyoming soon became my home
    Great things can happen when you roam

  10. Pingback: Haibun: The Summer of Elegant Men | kanzen sakura

    Haibun: The Summer of Elegant Men

    I was at that awkward age between being a child and a teenager. Thick glasses, knobby knees, beautiful skin like my Aunt Gay – roses and cream. But I was so bored. Both my teenaged aunts had gone to camp as counselors and my best buddy Effie was in Greece visiting relatives. So very hot. The ceiling fans in the house barely moved the stuffy air around the high ceilinged rooms. My books were all read and the public library wouldn’t allow me into the adult section. I went to the kitchen to discuss my boredom with my grandmother. “Watch the oven for me” and off she went to the library in the corner of the house. She returned shortly. High up out of my reach were certain books. On the table she placed four books. “I think these will keep you busy for a bit.” And there, she placed beside the basket of tomatoes and freshly picked string beans from the kitchen garden were: a ratty edition of On Walden Pond, a brand new Collected Poems by T.S.Eliot, and antique editions of The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest. I eagerly seized them and rushed up to my room. I read them obsessively. Within two weeks they were all read and I began to read them again. The poems of T.S.Eliot stayed by my bedside until I left for University. It became dog-eared and sometimes a page would fall out. But that summer, I became enrapt with the four main men in my life. John Lennon became part of them the next summer. These men influenced my taste in men until I finally married many years later. Thin men with wit and intelligence came and went in my life but these four men remained steady. They taught me to observe nature and people, to converse, to be true to myself, to write poetry. That summer of thin elegant men became the pattern of my summers and are still part of this summer. The Collected Poems still resides on the table by my bedside.

    sultry summer days
    unfold one page at a time –
    elegant men smile

  12. Pingback: Summer of Small Wonders, (A Sevenling) | Metaphors and Smiles

    Summer in San Diego

    (Stopping By San Diego on a Sunny Day)

    This city mine, for six years now
    is making its most seasoned bow
    to guests and locals, everyone,
    its sandy beaches and sunshine, wow.

    We’ve grown accustomed to the sun,
    we feel entitled, everyone.
    The nights, while cooler, still hold their cheer,
    no holding back the mid-year fun.

    Our friends back east are very clear
    about what matters, what is dear;
    it’s family, and friends who matter so,
    kept close at hand, in hearts, so near.

    But the humidity’s too high, this I know.
    I’ve promised no sweating, not ever, no.
    I have rays to catch, snowbirds to tease,
    I have rays to catch, a tan to show.

    Summer of Small Wonders, (A Sevenling)

    Small wonder – tiny island living in sea,
    wild-flowers, winding paths
    and tame grazing velvet-nosed-doe reaching…

    Life is freckle-smile-free
    floral-embroidered-smock, cut off blue-jeans
    and fresh – only twelve cycled-seasons deep.

    Monhegan, (in my heart), just 4.5 sq. mi – 19 km from rocky-main-shore.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2016

  15. Earl Parsons on said:

    The Summer of Guilty Innocence

    ‘Twas the summer of learning
    Though in far too many ways
    I was not ready for the lessons
    Some that could have waited
    Or not been taught at all
    While others ultimately necessary
    For that passage from innocence
    Into the reality of life

    They say that sin is a lot of fun
    Indulging in it can be addictive
    If the courage to say no is missing
    When the second temptation pops up
    Or the third or the fourth, depending

    We all go through that summer
    The summer of guilty innocence
    The summer of learning about things
    On the other side of life’s coin

    Some make it through
    Others stay behind
    I’m one of the lucky ones
    Who can look back and say
    I walked through the valley
    Came out scathed and scarred
    But still in one piece
    Never to go back again

    © Earl Parsons

  16. Earl Parsons on said:

    The summer of life
    Behind lay spring; ahead fall
    And the clock ticks on

    The Summer of 1948

    I perch in my pepper tree.
    Pungent scents, fingered
    leaves embrace me.
    A lady bug, dressed in red
    with black polka dots
    climbs my arm, tickles.

    Ocean sand, white as the rind
    of a watermelon, clings to my
    bare toes.
    Only hours ago I ran through it,
    reaching out, stretching to catch

    The smell of hot concrete
    dampened by rain showers
    lingers along with DDT
    sprayed from a can with a
    plunger like a bicycle pump.

    I slip down the gnarly trunk,
    enter the house by the
    screen door near the
    Bendix with the ringer where
    Mama found a black widow

    She’s melting a blue cube
    of laundry starch
    in hot water.

    “Did you know I’m four
    and a half today?”
    I ask. She nods, smiles.
    The black fan whirrs
    in the background.

    “Go on over to Stewie’s,” she says.
    “It’s almost time for
    Kukla, Fran and Ollie.”

    Cross-legged on the floor
    I watch the 12” screen,
    understand what it
    means to be.

    That Summer in…Rome?

    Ah, recall the grand old days of yore…
    That last summer we spent in Rome,
    seduced by our own power.
    Idle days, drunken nights.
    Vainly ignoring
    civil discord,
    moral strife.
    We cared…


    In the throes of a summer swelter,
    lives helter skelter and falling fast.
    I am well past feeling tomorrow’s another day.
    There is no other way to say it,
    summer mournings take a lot out of
    a caring soul’s soul. We have no control
    over our outcomes and some would rather
    not deal with the realities of death.
    But that summer lingers, it clenches my fingers
    into a fist and memories of those that I miss will
    soften with time. They say often that time
    heals all wounds, but it steals to much in return.
    I yearn for happier days when mourning goes away!

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

  20. Pingback: That Summer In The Sand | echoes from the silence

  21. So many ideas came in my head when I read the prompt…but this is the one that emerged when I finally sat down to write. I wish I’d written something happier…but it just wasn’t in the cards. Thank you Walt/Sara for a great prompt!


    Were we just
    having fun, playing
    at beaches…
    living life
    as if we would always be
    in a safe bubble?

    Or were we
    just ostriches with
    our heads so
    buried, that
    we weren’t prepared for our Fall
    of 2001?

    Summer In My Imagination

    Clear blue sky with little
    tufts of white clouds
    gliding across its surface

    A gentle sun, slowly warming
    the air and drying the dew
    on soft grass that never
    needs mowing

    Riotous colors of flower –
    filled beds with bee and
    butterfly feasting on the
    sweet nectar

    A bench for two, a breezy
    get away where there are
    no phones, TV, iAnything
    a favorite cold drink, a book

    ….. and a friend to share it all


    My voice changed.
    That fact defined the year which brought me
    to the precipice of adulthood.
    Unsure of foot & teetering
    on the weak knees of youthful thought.

                   All of thirteen, a bit green
                   & ignorant to a changing world.
                   I found myself transforming into
                   someone I barely knew, realizing
                   I would find myself soon enough

    as long as I tuned in, turned on
    & dropped out of the norms of a
    distilled upbringing, wringing my hands
    at authority & standing up to the “man”,
    still yielding to my mother to take out the trash.

                   Short on cash & stature, & the nature
                   of the beast was the least of my concerns.
                   The females in my realm of thought
                   made funny things happen to me.
                   My hands shook, my stomach churned,

    & I learned that they were the cause
    of my voice fracturing every time they came near.
    I had a fear of the war lasting forever,
    & having to learn to speak Vietnamese
    or Canadian, knowing I’d look bad in fatigues.

                   Why is it we could put men on the moon,
                   but couldn’t keep guys like John
                   & Martin & Bobby safe from hatred.
                   Isn’t anything sacred anymore? Did we even know the score?
                   But one thing always delivered the goods. Music.

    Music did it for me. I know that now.
    We were lighting fires for Morrison,
    while Hendrix did fine all by himself.
    Mick was gathering no moss, & the cost
    of freedom was very high, but worth every CS&N song.

                   I was wishing I could have gone to Woodstock
                   & it was a shock that it had grown as big as it was.
                   Free-love was the best buzz word I ever heard
                   & it was absurd to think I stood on the brink
                   of such an uncertain future! It was torture!

    If anyone would tell me that in a year the Beatles
    would argue and break up over an avant-garde Ono,
    I would tell them they were crazy. I stopped being lazy
    in ’69, ever since I found this thing called “muse”,
    & how expressing it made funny things happen

                   to the females in my realm; a release in a lyrical sense
                   under some false pretense of ever really being
                   in love yet above all else, music and words lived in me
                   (but I was just too ignorant to get that clue, see?)
                   Besides, my voice changed.

    © Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

    That Summer in Lake George

    Four New Yorkers traveling
    to Lake George–their first
    time. An efficiency on the lake
    with floor to ceiling windows
    overlooking a blue expanse
    of calm, clear water. Canoes cutting
    through lake, swimmers splashing,
    and ping-pong balls bouncing
    back and forth. One of four plays
    golf. Not me. Casual air
    of serenity here. Dew-sprinkled
    morning walks, Lone Bull
    for a bracing breakfast. Shopping,
    stopping in Fort Ticonderoga,
    strolling to a spot of splendor
    with a view of Lake Champlain,
    and Vermont’s green mountains.
    Watch battle reenactments
    in costume Tour fort for lessons
    in history. Four New Yorkers
    would love to revisit that
    “Queen of American Lakes.”

  25. This songs like a perfect vacation spot,

  26. Pingback: Poem: That Summer in…Rome? – Wanna Get Published, Write!

  27. Catching Crawdads

    Tying worm on string at end of stick
    Dropping into creek and then quickly raise
    Crawdads clinging to string
    Cousin holds bucket as I drop crawdad in
    We take turns “fishing” for crustaceans
    A couple of dozen later we walk home for lunch
    Summer of endless heat and forever fun

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