There are so many phrases and snippets of sound relating to summer. You’ve heard many of them. I will offer ten (10) such word groupings and you are presented with the task of using at least four of them in your poem – any style, any form, rhyme or not… all you’ve got to do is use at least four. Can I use all ten, you ask? Yes, as a bonus to one who “runs the table”, anyone who uses all ten will win my heartfelt appreciation and extreme awe at your accomplishment. 🙂

Here are your ten:

“dog days of summer…”                    

“children running through a water sprinkler…”

“enjoy a chilled glass of___________”                    

“catch a wave…”

“kissed by the sun…”                                                        

“listen to the waves at the seashore…”

“I wish we never have to leave the beach…”                                                      

“summer nights under the stars…”

“lazy (or hazy, crazy) days of summer…”                            

“crank up theA/C (air conditioning)…”


And if you have a favorite summer saying, by all means use your own if the mood strikes you!

We’re looking for the language that seasons the summer season. I’ll join you as soon as I fill the cooler and flip the burgers on the grill! Aloha! (And don’t forget the sunscreen!)


  1. My choice of sayings about summer was “One swallow does not a summer make”

    No swallows

    A swallow does not a summer make
    through silent spring I waited them
    their absence is a throbbing ache
    a swallow does not a summer make
    this summer heat without seems fake
    when skies are clear, from wings no thrum
    a swallow does not a summer make
    through silent spring I waited them

    Language of *Summer-ies (*Summer memories)

    With Mother’s ‘you may go out in bare feet’
    Summer’s soft advent was complete

    Farm-life heaven with its
    Hard working ways
    Made a little girl wonder
    Who came up with the phrase
    ‘Those lazy summer days’

    We never did listen to waves at the seashore
    Only story-book families went to the beach
    We preserved summer in jars galore
    Of plum, pear, apple, tomato and peach

    But we did spend summer nights under the stars
    Waking damp and dew-kissed by the sunrise
    To a new days chores
    While pine trees whispered
    And willow-winds sighed
    And maple-manes flaunted
    The symbol of Canadian pride

    Slap of screen-door,
    Kool-Aid moustache
    Children running through the water sprinkler
    Enjoy a chilled glass of iced mint-leaf tea
    The air flushed with threshing dust,
    And wanderlust
    As I catch a wave,
    With summer-memory


    Those dog days of summer,
    the lazy, hazy days of summer,
    for me are a collective bummer
    designed to leave bug bites and scars.

    Kissed by the sun though the days be,
    I’d rather run off to the navy
    or, better yet, crank up the AC
    or enjoy a chilled glass in cool bars.

    But all is not lost; there is more:
    when the sun goes beneath the earth’s floor
    I can listen to the waves at the seashore
    on summer nights under the stars.


    Aunt Ophelia arranges lawn chairs
    under the shade of the magnolia tree
    Great-grampaw Bailey planted after Lee
    bent his knee at Appomattox.
    “Them’s to come for generations can drink
    mint juleps to a South that’ll rise again.”
    We ain’t seen no risin’ yet, but in
    dog days like this we can sit here lazy-like,
    poke an ear to the sloshin’ waves of
    Mighty Mississipp’, and when that sun throws down
    one final kiss, grabs shut-eye, we can all pretend
    them summer stars be Johnny Rebs marchin’
    through Vicksburg, heads high, tall and proud.

    “Don’t you kids be messin’ with that sprinkler,”
    Aunt Ophelia, pitcher in hand, hollers
    from her chair. “How come we ain’t at the beach?”
    hollers back wee Jordan. “Can we bring out
    the air condition machine?” This from his sister Claire.
    “And plug it where?” Uncle Wallace wants to know.
    We let our laughter climb up the shady tree,
    crane our necks to the rustlin’ leaves
    like applaudin’ hands or maybe it be the mint julep
    (too much bourbon, short on mint) cloudin’ our heads,
    but Aunt Ophelia keeps on pourin’ and we go on sippin’
    and cheerin’ on the gray ghosts paradin’
    up there in the moonlit summer night sky.


    The Snowbirds Have Landed

    They migrate with the flying kind
    Rolling south in disorganized flocks
    Some first-timers and many veterans
    Seeking sanctuary from the icy winters

    The RV parks fill to the max
    From early October through April late
    License plates from all points north
    New friends, old friends, all escaping

    We in the South can identify
    The snowbirds as they saunter in
    White pasty legs and flip-flop socks
    Farmer’s tans or winter sunburns

    Many have strangely Yankee accents
    Or the undeniable Midwestern drawl
    My favorites are those from New England
    They remind me of where I grew up

    Snowbirds are always welcomed here
    They’re friendly, fun, and crazy folks
    That’s crazy in a positive way
    The way we all should crazily be

    If I lived up north I’d join this bunch
    For snow and ice are not friends of mine
    These old bones ache down to the marrow
    When the mercury dips below 45

    So, welcome Snowbirds, come on down
    Enjoy the warm winters and hospitality
    Please stay as long as you would like
    Don’t forget to spend lots of money

    © Earl Parsons

  6. Pingback: Daydreamin’ | echoes from the silence

    Old Men

    Old men can’t help themselves,
    it’s the nature of the beast,
    the looking back,
    the wondering about change,
    about the passing of time.
    What of the lake,
    so needed in the dog days of summer,
    those lazy, hazy days from June to September,
    when there was no A/C to crank up.
    Is it still a playground without toys,
    loved by local girls and boys?
    No matter the age we make,
    one can’t forget the days,
    the unfettered joys,
    shared with friends
    that time has taken.
    We ran through sprinklers,
    back and forth, back and forth,
    kissed by the sun before retreating
    to the shade of an elm,
    enjoying an ice cold glass of lemonade,
    the kind our moms made.
    Is the sky still cloudy in summer,
    white puffs portending the arrival
    of the thunderheads to come,
    rolling in from the plains?
    Do children still see them
    like pages from a book,
    stories ever changing,
    always rearranging,
    they, the authors, arguing
    about the plots – is it a rabbit or mouse?
    No! Can’t you see the kangaroo?
    And the summer nights
    under the stars,
    the sights and sounds, the Northern Lights.
    Still filled with crickets, owls and fireflies?
    Mothers calling? Children whispering, telling lies?
    We couldn’t hear them,
    sitting, listening to the gentle waves
    lapping at the shore,
    not catching them like those California surfers,
    just wishing we never had to leave our beach,
    never, not ever,
    just wanting to stay young and happy, evermore.

    The Lazy Days of Summer

    We children, kissed by the sun,
    run through water sprinklers.
    Flowers dance in colorful dress.
    Trees, green and full,
    breathe out life as a gift.
    Birds full-throttle perform their tunes.

    Indoors for only sleeping and eating,
    but not always. Some summer
    nights, we sleep under the stars
    while owls and crickets
    sing their lullabies,
    and lightning bugs act
    as comforting nightlights.

  9. Goodness me. This went so far off-track that we’re in a different universe.

    Dog Day Memories

    I’m blinded by summer heat,
    by its light, by my retreating
    memories of auto-change 8-Track
    Players, of red naugahyde seats,
    of hips swaying to Mungo Jerry,
    not that I bought his records,
    nor did I touch the sky, but

    I listened to other people’s music,
    and other people’s ’70s opinions.
    And by July, I was whining endlessly
    about the heat. Chasing after shade.
    Now I’m a relic — an antique radio
    with spark-hot transistor tubes, so

    just drop me on a garden hose
    near a rotary sprinkler; my remedy
    for those dog days of summer. Or
    drop me in a summer reading club
    with real books that are threaded
    and bound with pages of romance, or

    return me to my sketchy memories
    of when my Grandpa laughed, when
    his smile flashed like a gilded cage
    because his teeth were for chewing,
    and if teeth were crooked, those
    teeth stayed crooked but mended.

    I remember my first bite of pizza.
    Nobody knew what it was back then.
    We knew tomato soup and hand-crushed
    soda crackers. We didn’t know a thing
    about hate, or rage, or adrenaline,
    and we sure didn’t shoot each other.

    Sometimes summer is just too hot for
    living. Makes people crazy. And I’m
    of the belief that life is a string
    of big events but mostly tiny moments.
    So I wait through daylight for evening
    to draw its last light; I’ll escape
    the cranked up noise of the aircon, and

    go outside. Listen to Mungo Jerry.
    Watch the waves crest the beach.
    Drive along the lane. Do as I please.


    © Misky 2016

  10. To be honest, summer is not my favorite season and most of my language about it is unprintable. I don’t go to the beach until the winter. So below is my poem using my own language about Summer. I hope it is acceptable. Note: The Japanese call the Milky Way The River of Heaven or, amanogawa. Hatsuyuki is first snow.

    Dog Nights of Summer
     around the cream colored summer moon
     the River of Heaven flows.
     If I squint my eyes, I can see Orion and his dog
     wading and splashing in the night cool water.
     The sounds of insects thrum and fireflies
     explode in the blackness like demented Morse code –
     On off on off on on on off…
     cicadas begin the buzz of the summer chorus –
     deep and rhythmic and then the thin
     piping of the tree frog –
     high pitched and sweet – like nature’s castrato.
     sweat rolls under my cotton blouse
     and the cooling unit cranks up
     cooling my husband’s deep sleep.
     I fervently pray for hatsuyuki –
     The first snow.

    A Place To Drift

    We listened to roar of waves at the shore
    on those lazy dog days of summer.
    Applauding surfer boys by the score
    catching waves that grew greater in number.
    How lovely it felt to be kissed by the sun
    while sipping chilled glass of iced tea.
    How we lingered to watch sunset hasten
    on summer nights under stars, for free.

    In neighborhoods children ran under sprinklers
    of cascading fountains; they tried to stay cool.
    Dashed off at sound of ice cream bells tinkling
    No cranked up A/C–a fan and child’s pool.

    As for me, I’d already found my niche
    I wish we never had to leave the beach.

  12. Pingback: Bitter sun – Poetic Bloomings | Freya Writes…

  13. Here’s mine 🙂 I had such fun with this!


    the (hang)-dog days of summer
    tangle themselves in my hair
    and the curlicue corkscrews plaster themselves
    to my forehead, shiny and greasy with sweat.
    I attempt to cool myself
    and enjoy a chilled glass of wine
    but all I get is a headache
    a dry mouth and a hankering for shade.
    Summer nights under the stars ain’t all that –
    in the northern hemisphere,
    once the sun has gone and the sky is cloudless
    you’re wishing for your duvet
    and a hot cup of tea.
    stars may be beautiful, tiny jewels above your head
    but they don’t protect you from the chill
    and crawling gooseflesh skin.
    Yah, kissed by the sun is just a euphemism –
    for scorching sunburn –
    for skin raked raw by sand
    and swimsuit straps,
    and don’t even tell me about trying to pat yourself dry after that needle-sharp shower.
    Me? I love summer…

  14. I’m not completely happy with this one. I think I tried to force too many of the phrases into it and it throws the rhythm off. Ah,well, at least I managed the rhyme scheme.

    I wish we never had to leave the beach

    Hear the children play while the seagulls screech
    in joy at the kid-dropped feast they will reap.
    I wish we never had to leave the beach.

    The dog days of summer turn my hair bleach-
    blonde –like a care free salon on the cheap.
    Hear the children play while the seagulls screech.

    Listen to the waves at the seashore each
    night. Their gentle crashing helps me to sleep.
    I wish we never had to leave the beach.

    Spending days surfing, attempting to teach
    young ones to catch a wave makes my heart leap.
    Hear the children play while the seagulls screech.

    Summer nights under the stars I beseech,
    “Take my heart, my love, forever to keep.”
    I wish we never had to leave the beach.

    Warm, sandy lovers, kissed by the sun, reach
    for each other’s hands, hoping time will creep.
    Hear the children play while the seagulls screech.
    I wish we never had to leave the beach.


    Sultry summer days kissed by the sun,
    no one can deny the time on the sand
    is an escape from the nine-to-five.
    It’s great to be alive when kissed by the sun!

    The water glistens as you listen to the waves on the seashore.
    It’s for sure you’re in for a symphony, a cacophony of sound
    as the surf rushes and retreats, a real treat for the soul,
    your can lose control and not worry, no hurry!

    It becomes a heartfelt bequeath; a gentle beseech,
    a day to teach you that life is more than hustle and bustle;
    flex your muscles and work on your tan, man!
    I wish we’d never have to leave the beach!

    Get away from the city, the cars!
    Spend a summer night under the stars!”

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016

    Dog’s Days

    These were my dog’s special days
    lazy days when he could snooze
    uninterrupted in the cool air
    of the cranked up air conditioner
    while the sun placed sizzling kisses
    on the hot pavement
    and when summer night
    began to sparkle with stars
    I would get out the hose
    to water the garden and he
    seemed to laugh as he loped
    through the water like a child
    running through a sprinkler
    Why wish for a beach when
    you have a garden hose and
    a good friend

    First Date

    They spent the dog days of summer
    at the beach, alternating between
    trying to catch a wave
    and being kissed by the sun
    while listening to the waves at the seashore.

    They stayed late
    so they could share some summer nights
    under the stars, each of them
    thinking, “I wish we never have to leave the beach”.
    He pulled a wine bottle out of the cooler
    and they enjoyed a chilled glass of wine
    and a little toast to each other
    as they enjoyed these crazy days of summer.

    But all too soon
    her ride arrived…her son.
    She looked back to “catch his wave”
    as she walked to the car,
    a small smile on her face.
    She asked her son what he did today
    and he replied,
    “oh, we watched the children run through the sprinkler”,
    she smiled but was mainly quiet on the ride home.

    He got out and walked her to her door
    and she was “kissed by her son”
    and as he turn to leave,
    he reminded her to crank up the A/C for
    tomorrow was going to be a scorcher.
    She said she would and thanked him for the ride
    and then she took her memories inside
    to once again relive their first date,
    so many years ago…
    on this summer day.

  18. Pingback: Poem: I wish we never had to leave the beach – Wanna Get Published, Write!

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