Temperatures are drifting into the temperate zone of late. The heat is certainly on. so we’re writing the heat in a very cool way, through poetry. Write a hot poem, a heat poem or a poem about someone under pressure. It is the heat of the moment! Write it!



Their heated discussions uniquely
would get fired up indiscreetly,
(no warmth in their tone;
like bone against bone)
yet somehow they’d cool it down treacly.

© Marie Elena Good 2022




The yin and yang of aches and pains,
weapons in a constant war!
Where medications miss the mark
I hearken for these modalities.
Not a finality by any stretch,
but, it’s good right now, right here.
And right here and here.
Heat it up and chill it down.
It satisfies this aching clown!

© Walter J. Wojtanik - 2022

98 thoughts on “PROMPT #391 – THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT


    These arches (although not golden)
    have served billions (though it seems)
    of hungry miles.

    They faithfully bear the load—without question,
    unforgiving roads, the unbearable weight of
    each day.

    They never fold, or buckle
    under the heated pressure
    of today.

    © Benjamin Thomas

  2. Yes the heat… index was 111° here in Arkansauna once last week. And of all things, we are going camping next two weeks. Well, the water will be cool, I hope, and fish biting.
    Great topic Marie and Walt; loved your take on heated debate Marie, and the icing and melting of joints, Walt.

  3. Summer Sad

    My want for warmth
    has melted now,
    my fireplace is shut down.
    Spring was but
    a brief short breath,
    and Sol has come to town.

    is not the word
    for such oppressive heat
    when walking to
    the thermostat I feel exhausted, beat!

    My flip-flops melt,
    my sunscreen boils,
    my iced tea turns to steam.
    Popsicles? Snowcones?
    No relief, they’re just a vapored dream.

    At least there is
    one consolation—only one, alas…
    I will not spend
    my summer days
    mowing any grass. 

    © Damon Dean, 2022


    It was a sultry, sulking day
    with blue above and haze below;
    the dust was flowing to and fro
    for want of rain. The heat that lay

    upon the land was like a shroud:
    it married sweat to skin and hair
    and grinned that all the languid air
    had failed to raise a single cloud.

    But then, arising in the west,
    a puff of white began to form;
    it came at leisure, not a storm
    but showing grey abaft its breast

    and laying down a length of shade.
    When overhead, without ado,
    it loosed a burst, or maybe two,
    of showers; that is all it made.

    It must have been exhausted then:
    its grey had segued into white;
    eastward it went, then out of sight,
    perhaps to join its wayward ken.

    The heat returned with eventide:
    the dust and flies were flowing free.
    But I was in a reverie,
    thinking about the cloud that tried.

  5. I think I will write from desert memories…

    The Heat is On

    In the southwest, spring is
    viewed with a touch of worry,
    as the Snowbirds leave us,
    some east or northwest bound.
    Winter’s days of easy warmth
    yield to a different story
    than in the nation’s cooler reaches,
    where summer does not wound.

    Southwest falls and winters,
    and clearly, early spring,
    are the reasons people
    visit, and why many choose to stay.
    but those remaining after April
    know this one true thing,
    that for all its beauty, summer’s
    heat is our yearly price to pay.

    It’s not the small reminders,
    with the early heat of May.
    With nights still cool, it
    still allows a dance or two, a song.
    It’s that we know
    spring’s rapid days
    too soon are summer’s.
    My god, they get so long.

    Everyday is truly special,
    each a part of new beginnings,
    living in this temporary vessel,
    ever more so in life’s final innings, but
    it’s the solstice already, close to the big heat,
    and summer lurks, growling,
    with her nineties warming the sand
    beneath our trembling feet.

  6. It’s a Mystery

    It’s a mystery, my kids who complained when hot,
    I thought they’d move to somewhere cool.
    They live in Phoenix, believe it or not.
    It’s a mystery.

    An air conditioner is a handy tool,
    But past one ten, it doesn’t hit the spot.
    It’s true, Phoenix weather can be cruel.

    It’s nice in the winter, till heat’s onslaught.
    I wish they had a swimming pool.
    Why didn’t they give this more forethought?
    It’s a mystery.

  7. A tribute to the “middle” Walt on Father’s Day…


    I saw my father this morning.
    It caught me off guard,
    without warning, without any
    precognition. The man’s been dead.

    Over fifteen years gone, and though
    I long for one moment more,
    it underscores my dilemma.
    I saw my father this morning.

    His craggy morning beard
    clearly heard when he’d scratch his chin.
    Internal debate whether to shave it,
    or save it another day, who’s to say?

    The wrinkles around his eyes
    that grew greater when pater smiled.
    He had a great smile, and while he was alive
    would strive to flash it at every turn.

    I’d learn his way and his charm came
    along with his name, my grandfather
    bore both, so I am told. Too old
    to remember him, but dad was clear.

    I saw my father this morning.
    He of the wise old face and cleft chin,
    he of the exuberant grin, carpenter hands
    the texture of leather caused by weather and life.

    Hard knocks smart, an old fart with humor
    and the aplomb to use it, sometimes abuse it
    along with us and my mother. A man of another
    time and age, sage with advice and super nice

    when the smoky brown bottle stayed away.
    Not to say it was right, but it might explain
    some of his apparent flaws. It gnaws at me.
    I saw my father this morning.

    The man’s been dead, that has been said.
    But as I look in the mirror and scratch my craggy chin in debate
    and count my crow’s feet framed eyes, I have to smile.
    I saw my father this morning. I see him every morning.

    (C) Walter J. Wojtanik

  8. Marie…. love that poem and I have learned a new word… and great prompt, we in South Carolina have got close to 100 degrees so far…But it is the south

  9. Walt, this poem made me smile since every joint in my body has decided to go public with their outrage of my youthful abuse of them…. I know this one so well.

  10. The Summers my air conditioning died

    Living in the south
    The heat can be brutal,
    And the humidity
    Clings to your skin and lungs.

    My furnace had died
    But the air lasted one
    Last summer.

    The first summer
    I had no money.
    One ceiling fan
    Helped me
    Through the nights,
    And two other fans
    Helped me through the days.
    Each month I prayed
    For relief…
    I found an inner strength.

    Winter was cold
    With no furnace,
    For I bundled up
    In sweaters and flannel gowns,
    But still was cold
    All the time,
    For it was the winter
    My body almost
    Left this earth
    For my parents
    Came to get me,
    And I told them
    I needed to stay.
    My life was not done.

    The next summer
    The money was
    Still not there,
    And each day
    I felt a sadness…
    And the heat drained
    My body more…
    The big fan in the loft died
    And did not budge
    Until the summer
    I got
    The air conditioner…
    I bought a device
    That sucked the water
    From the air,
    And I could bear the heat.

    That winter, I survived
    With space heaters,
    And on the coldest nights
    I stayed up
    To keep the pipes
    From bursting.
    The worst
    Was the days of the ice storm,
    And my cats cuddle close
    To keep us warm.
    A nephew far away
    Called to check on me,
    But no one close did.
    I never felt so alone.

    The third summer
    I still had no money,
    And had shingles
    In late spring,
    And the heat and
    Humidity made
    My inflamed skin scream.
    I added a fan
    That summer
    For two ceiling fans
    Had died…
    One never to revived
    The other just took a vacation
    Came back a year after
    The new air conditioner arrived.
    I grew stronger in myself
    For I faced these things alone.

    That winter,
    I was ill, and ran a fever.
    The cold air was a blessings,
    But I remained sometimes
    Too tired to do what I needed to do.

    The third summer began
    With me having almost
    Enough money to buy
    New equipment,
    But my trial was not over…
    In August
    There was great damage,
    During the days
    When I was weak,
    And all the money
    I had saved disappeared
    In one instance.
    I crumbled within myself
    Asking how I could go on,
    But I did.

    That winter was the coldest,
    And my bills were high.
    I just prayed each month
    That it would get warmer…

    In Spring I bought
    A new machine
    That was completely paid off.

    In summer it did not work,
    But warrantees are wonderful.
    They left off a piece, and
    My air was fixed.

    That winter I slept warm…
    The first winter
    That my breath
    Did not fog in the air.

    The lessons I learned
    Was I am strong,
    And resilient,
    And God
    Does answers prayers
    In His time,
    Not mine.
    It was trust
    I needed to learn,
    And I can be
    A slow learner
    When it comes to

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 19, 2022

  11. Thank you, Sir

    I am not a young woman
    And I had said to myself…
    Love and passion
    Were behind me….

    I wrote of them instead…
    My imagination
    Took me to places…
    I thought I had forgot,
    But we don’t ever really forget…

    But you stepped
    Back into my life,
    And reminded me
    Of those things
    I had put in the past.

    As I wrote my novels…
    You crept into my nights
    With dreams
    That kept me more awake…
    Than I slept…

    I asked you if you were a good kisser…
    You laughed and said yes,
    And I still want that kiss.

    It has been so long
    Since I have been kissed…
    But I do remember the heat
    And the passion
    Such kisses bring…

    I talk to you of silly stuff,
    And not the things
    I really want…
    Which is to lay
    Beside you…
    Even if our bodies
    Are not young,
    And passion
    Is behind us…
    Just to feel the heat
    Of our bodies
    Close together
    Will remind me
    That this old girl
    Has more living…
    That she needs to do…
    I hope
    That I will do the same
    For you…

    I know right now
    Is not the time
    For I need to grow stronger,
    And I pray for healing
    For you.

    But know this, Sir,
    You gave me hope
    For a fuller life…
    One where the heat of passion
    Once forgot,
    Except in the novels I write,
    And thought I would never
    Feel again,
    And for that
    I thank you.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 19, 2022

  12. Heat wave
    Bring on the sweat
    It’s just a summer thing
    Nothing to do with climate change
    It’s just the way God made it

  13. One-oh-five in the shade
    It’s a scorcher outside
    From the heat
    There is nowhere to hide
    Not relief to be made
    And no shade

  14. When summer came….

    When the heat in summer came,
    My aunts would call my father,
    And tell him that their mother
    Would be more comfortable
    Living in the cool of the mountains.
    Thus my summers
    Would be spent
    Seeing hot darts fired
    At my mother,
    But as soon as my father got home.
    She was all sweetness.

    What I learned those summers
    Was that Ma was a lady
    Who born her pain
    By giving kindness
    When most would
    Have shot heated darts
    Back at the person sending them.

    Those summers,
    I did not know that about Ma…
    I saw my grannie rush
    To the car to sit between my parents.
    I hated those summers
    Except in the summer
    When I rode my bicycle, and
    Wrote stories for my friends.

    Swimming gave me peace…
    Riding bicycles gave me freedom,
    And writing gave me direction.

    Those summers
    When I heard her jabs
    Directed at me,
    I would go to my room and cry…
    Grandmothers were supposed to love
    Their grandchildren…
    Something must have been wrong with me.
    Yet when the neighbors came
    She smiled sweetly and never complained.

    She taught me to beware of too sweet people…
    They tend to lie about themselves,
    And when alone show their true selves.

    She died in June the summer I was eighteen.
    It was the best summer of my life.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 19, 2022

  15. This does mention hot summers but for the most part a father’s day poem Happy Father’s day to all of you…

    To my father missing him….

    Three decades have passed
    Since you left us…
    What a hole you left
    Within our hearts.

    I studied your face
    When I was small…
    And loved
    To hear your harmonica
    Playing as I slept
    Not knowing
    It meant you were sad.

    I studied your hands
    When I was older.
    They were strong hands
    From work that you did,
    And when I was ill,
    How gently those hands
    Carried me.

    I studied your eyes
    When I was a teenager…
    Your eyes the color of the summer sky…
    Clear and deep from the hidden thoughts
    As your mind raced like mine.
    My eyes were winter blue with shards of ice…
    But when our eyes met…
    There was always love
    In those moments.

    I studied your face again
    As I was a young woman,
    For I wondered how
    You hid the pain
    That you carried deep inside.
    If I knew, I might find my own way
    To do the same.
    But to the world…
    No one saw the depth
    Of sorrow you carried…
    Only your love of humanity.

    As you aged, and
    I studied your body
    For I could tell it was failing…
    And I knew that you
    Would be leaving us.
    I did not know
    How any of us could stand again…
    Except our mother, who was the strongest one.

    As I studied your skin
    As you lay still I n death…
    I wondered where
    That dark skin came from,
    And what secrets
    Still hid in our history…
    For it was too late to ask.

    Today, I studied pictures of you…
    And I thought about the secrets
    You carried tucked away
    Of whispers that you might have heard…
    Why you chose to keep those to yourself…
    How when we lived in the mountains
    You wore short sleeved shirts,
    But back here in your childhood home
    You wore only long-sleeved ones…
    Even on the hottest days…
    I should have asked you
    Why you did that,
    And once you were gone…
    I will never know.

    I studied your face…
    In the photograph,
    And I wanted to hear
    You say to me…
    Once more
    That you loved me.
    Partly because
    It has been so long
    Since I heard those words.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 20, 2022

  16. Addiction

    Stole her heart
    And I knew somewhere
    She loved her son,
    But he was not needed
    Like her drug
    Without it
    She felt the fires of hell
    That froze all that was over.

    Her eyes lost stared at me,
    But did not see me…
    And I knew her ears
    Did not hear a word I said…
    She cried she could get better.
    I made her an appointment…
    I had done this three times before…
    She never kept them.

    Burned in her body,
    And froze her soul
    In a prison
    That could not be reached
    Unless she stole
    The key from her jailer
    And opened the door.

    She left my office
    As hopeless as
    When she came to see me.
    I knew she loved her son,
    But I knew also
    If she was given a choice
    Of the drugs she craved or him.
    The drugs would always win.


    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 20, 2022

  17. Pressure Cooker

    Pressure stalks my house
    like a furnace about to
    explode. I am told by
    *VA personnel that having
    an in-home visit for
    a veteran with dementia
    who refuses to see a doctor,
    is not something they do.
    Pressure on his bladder
    worsens. The reams
    of paperwork I filled out
    for disability, compensation,
    etc., provokes ever more
    questions. Agent Orange
    takes a back seat, as they
    probe the nature,
    and starting date of
    effects, doctors seen–
    blah, blah, blah.

    I did not meet my husband
    until years after he served.
    All I am asking for is a tad
    of steam to escape
    before I go under.

    *VA – Veteran’s Administration

  18. Like Iguanas

    Heat rolls from wheat tumbling in combines
    men heading into fields day gone
    on 8 o’clock as sun slips into woods
    in this searing summer dusk/t
    framing golden wheat like the dark
    edge of a jigsaw puzzle everyone rushing
    to put the pieces together against
    next night’s forecast when rain and wind
    might lay down the crop

    we build fence panels to machinery’s whine
    hay being mown rakes spinning and the clank
    of round bales spilling from the red and yellow
    IH Case and green John Deere’s air redolent
    with just plain hot and those
    sweet scents so purely summer: purple bush clover
    blue alfalfa orange trumpet vine looping utility poles
    pocked by woodpeckers bases wreathed
    in black eyed Susans spiking upward from snowfields
    of fleabane daisies mirrored in oases shimmering
    out front across the two-lane where gravel yields
    rubbery blacktop across the Flint Hills trail

    here in barn’s shade petunias’ heavy perfume
    wafts with the more subtle sweet alyssum
    and on the porch shamrocks stand like
    green folded umbrellas sheathed and dry
    so that you remember as you bend wire
    how hours earlier the three-year-old waved
    the hose scrawling droplets across afternoon sky
    air almost sizzling as you both giggled
    and shook like wet hounds each drop
    like spilled mercury riding down the green
    spears of Stella d’Oro daylilies’ small suns

    yet cupping heat and trembling from the touch
    of a child’s probing finger questioning
    such a present as a bunch of flowers
    on a summer day the both of you
    celebrating its warmth like iguanas
    hoarding it in their very blood: wheat, whine
    water, wire, sun and sunset as combines quiet
    clicking like crickets as they cool.


    The heat
    was so brutal
    that the soldiers’ salutes
    became superfluous; mere moot
    heat waves.

  20. This morning, I had for breakfast…

    A cup of coffee
    With cream and sugar,
    Blonde and sweet
    Like I don’t like my men.
    (And I smiled at a memory)
    I also had a biscuit
    Left over from a fast-food meal
    I ate last night,
    Because I didn’t want to cook
    Because it was still hot outside.
    I sliced in half putting butter on it
    And then toasted it.
    While the butter was melting,
    And the edges were getting
    Crisp and dark brown,
    I fed two of my cats,
    The old one is sleeping
    In this morning, and
    I let him sleep…
    His old bones hurt…
    Mine hurt more the older I get.
    I take my second batch of pills…
    The others I took in the night…
    Just so I can indulge
    In a little dairy- like cream and butter…
    The biscuits were hot and crunchie.
    I enjoyed my treat,
    But the coffee will take longer
    For I will drink on it
    While I write this morning…
    It reminded me of my father
    Blessing his food, and
    He said the same prayer…
    “Bless this food for the use
    Of our bodies, and
    Bless our bodies
    For the use
    Of your kingdom.”

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    June 23, 2022

  21. Pingback: Hot And Cold – eastelmhurst.a.go.go

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