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Signs of Summer

by rhiasofia

passing just near enough
to the lowest branches
early in the morning, lets the dew cling
as a glistening clear amulet
to the crown of your head, crown you
queen of the summer
but the title always
burns away by mid-morning

the street and my feet
are stained dark with the fallen
wild cherry blood jewels
with their firm promise, their
barely there fruit pretending to be sweet
when it's really
all hard seed. The backs
of my legs are spattered
with every velvety regret
as I run

storms awaken
the taste of ozone and wet earth;
some unbloomed plant, rooted
and rotting
at the base of my stomach,
is alive now

I grow strawberries
to gloss my lips
the taste of summer
(The other garden inside
grows empty, and
it's not so sweet a sign)

and I try to hate it all,
but behind the windows of my car
I watch the night sky
don a veil of lacey heat lightning,
crackling in its dainty danger,
startlingly soothing
and I wish to cloak my self
in spun darkness and
tear out the seams from these seasons
and let this heat melt us into one

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212 Reviews

Points: 3486
Reviews: 212

Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:33 am
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TheCrimsonLady wrote a review...

Hi love! Aurora here for a quick review!
The green room must stay cleared!
Oh my god. I love this. It's bitter, harsh, has a lot of death and violence... Just my thing.
However, there are definitely a few critiques that I can give you :).

The verse that starts with 'I grow strawberries' is wonderfully out of place. Until then, the overall mood is depressing and angry. That one verse is... Well... Bittersweet. And sadly out of place in a poem that deals with a lot of death and destruction.

All in all, a good poem!
Keep writing, love

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1313 Reviews

Points: 23286
Reviews: 1313

Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:50 am
Hannah wrote a review...

Oh god, this poem is absolutely dripping with Summer.

I have to say right away that the stanza beginning with storms is absolutely perfectly strong, balanced, and rich, and you don't have to change a thing about that stanza. Please don't touch it! It's so gorgeous, and I love especially that "rotting plant" doesn't really evoke summer, but at the same time, that feeling of something modly and hot and wet in the bottom of your stomach totally evokes that sticky summer feeling.

Other stanzas have their strengths and weaknesses, and I think I'll just give my opinions on those and hopefully they'll be helpful if you're looking to edit this piece.

Stanza One

I like the image of brushing against a tree and receiving a dew crown. It's unique and yet real at the same time, but the weakness in this stanza is how you present this image. You present it as if it's something to be avoided, like "be careful not to brush against the trees", when that doesn't really fit with the rest of the poem, about getting all the way into summer, holding nothing back. The burning away by afternoon bit is also very real and starts getting our temperatures up in preparation for the rest of the poem.

Stanza Two

I feel like this is the weakest stanza, mainly because I can't quite figure out the image. Is this narrator literally stepping on cherries? If so, don't the pits like HURT? Haha. The image of cherry blood on bare skin would be lovely to show summer, but I think you have to clear up that stanza. The idea of the backs of the legs spatter is very honest, but not really linked to anything else.

Stanza Four

Hmm. Cherries stain. I feel like strawberries are more watery and stain with less vivid color, so that image doesn't quite work for me, and especially not paired with an obvious weak metaphor about the loneliness. I don't want you to talk about loneliness when I know you have the skill to just mention an image and evoke that loneliness in me. Don't take the easy way out! haha.

Stanza Five

First of all, I have no idea why this narrator, who immerses herself so fully in summer, wants to HATE it all. I love the space that you create in the image of being in the car and the lightning -- not just any lightning but that beautiful, spacious, far off heat lightning -- off somewhere in the sky.

I think, however, you can bring the poem to a more subtle end. You can find something close and warm to bid farewell to the reader with instead of just the common "I wanna stay here forever". I know you can. You created these strong images. With just a little more care, this poem will be gorgeous the whole way through!

I hope these thoughts are helpful~

PM or reply to this review if you have any questions.

Good luck and keep writing!

This review courtesy of

rhiasofia says...

Lovely and helpful review, as usual! I tweaked it a bit with your critiques in mind, and I definitely like it better.

For your own curiosity:
The cherries are these tiny little wild cherries that grow on trees around my house. They're smaller than blueberries, a bit bigger than those seperate little pieces of fruit blackberries are made of. They fall all over the road everywhere, and they're darker than most cherries. Anyways, they don't particularly hurt, it's like walking on gravel I suppose.

The part about hating it, Summer and I have kind of a love-hate thing going on. I think it's beautiful and inspires me a ton, but I get really lonely and I hate the heat, so I'm miserable in that aspect. Humid and buggy and yuck.

Age was respected among his people, but achievement was revered. As the elders said, if a child washed his hands he could eat with kings.
— Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart