Thursday, July 16, 2009

Writing Workshop and Hating the Heat

The heat has been absolutely miserable this week. The thermometer has been reading over 100 degrees each day, and survival is only possible with a fan blowing directly in one's face. It's a vengeful heat, the kind that saps one's energy by ten in the morning, and one that does not appreciably cool down overnight as our usual summer heat does. It's just nasty.

On Tuesday night, I met with our monthly writing group. Only four of us turned up which is normal in summertime due to vacations, evening activities, etc. I brought along a rough draft of a poem I wrote during NaPoWriMo and also read a few pages of my very rough novel while Maureen shared more of her novel (incredible stuff!) and Teresa shared a poem or two. The poem I shared was appropriate considering the heat, so I will repost it here with suggested changes from the group. Although I wrote it in May, it was composed with days like today seared into my memory:

The Dreaded Season

Summer treads heavily,
breathing hot threats
down the back of my neck.
Wiping sweat from my face,
I groan as searing droplets
slowly roll down my throat,
my chest, my arms.

In crowded places,
the earthy stench
of perspiring bodies
burns my nostrils.
I draw my sweat-stiffened hair
into a crooked ponytail,
sealing it flatly
against my skull and
blessedly off my neck.

Driving mirages of freeway,
my thighs glue themselves
to the vinyl seat of the car.
Windows rolled down,
hot gusts wildly toss my hair.

In July and August
thunderheads sprawl
over the mountains
pregnant with frustrated tears,
hissing as they strike
the steaming asphalt.
The temperature drops
twenty degrees in ten minutes.
I drag in cleansing gulps
of tangy-cool air,

Too soon the sun returns,
blazing between purple-gray clouds --
blinding, parching, scorching.
Burning at the stake, I heave
prayers for the sun to slip below the horizon,
prayers for the crisp breezes of autumn
to rescue me.

Copyright 2009 Susanne Barrett
Aaaah, how I would love to be rescued by autumn -- RIGHT NOW. Sigh....

1 comment:

CC said...

Thanks so much for sharing! Living in a household of heat-lovers, it is nice to know I'm not the only one who loves those evening reprieves from the heat!


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