up at 5 to run, desert sand beneath our feet

moving on-- watercolor by me

moving on– watercolor by me


that hot september evening
we picked apples in the orchard, (5 biG boXes full),
&all the trees sang this same wicked tune,

first day back at work (after family break),
between ripening and FaLL/ing
juice & sap, seeping lavishly from gnarly arms,
legs, chest&

“dunno if it was the right decision,
sometimes we just move–“

that scorching hot millennium summer,
no rain for weeks,
lakes about to overheat, car washing prohibited,
empty private pools & us

continuously sunburnt,
gold strands in my hair, 
humidity pressing her moist breath in our face,
kids stayed at gramma’s–

i slept on the lawn that night
with a million crazy crickets’s ziRPing in my ears,
& thousand worms dug
architecturally doubtful tunnels
in and out the grass scar, hunGry //thiRsty–

& i can’t rembember
if you loved me into dark’s comforting seams, air thick
with apple scent//& change–

our little one was 9 back then
&i sat at the pool edge with a friend,
legs dangling in the water
kids splashed difFusing wiLd rainbows in the air
“i’m of no use for winter from today” i said &

for a minute FuTure was a thing
(without connection to me)
tongue-kissing my toes
beneath the water’s sluggish rippling surface


Karin has us write “i remember..” or “i don’t remember” poems at dVerse today– get your pen ready, write a poem and join the fun…doors open at 3pm EST..


57 responses to “up at 5 to run, desert sand beneath our feet

  1. Sounds like the summer was hot in more ways than one. Always love the pictures you paint with words or with colors. Thats a cool painting you posted. You depict a vivid memory here. I felt it as if I had lived it.

  2. love the painting…you are getting as good at that as you are writing…smiles…and you know you never really know if you are making the right decision you just have to move…really nice intimacy that allows the reader in…and i love the close…some times the future seems so far away and others so very close…

  3. First of all, Claudia, I really like the painting. Second, I can remember hot summers like that. But I never slept out on the lawn. LOL. So many wonderful memories to look back on now that it is over. Now nicely preserved in this poem.

  4. Your summer describes well what the weather has been here this past week…too hot to be outside…must agree with others ziRPing and painting are ‘fine’.

  5. …ah, this poem is alive… coz i was able to feel it deep down my skin & bones… that oozing sensation of summer’s lick… the crickets… the tongue-kissing… all very naturally expressed… makes it hard for one not to relate…. loved this & that watercolour painting… smiles…

  6. MOVING–in any sense–is good for me. I call it Fexible Flux. My bike was named “FLEX” Now, thanks to this post, I’m naming the new one “FLUX”…WAIT, I just realized the sound of …Hmmmmm…maybe Flax? Is past tense of flux? Oh, crap…why don’t I just write:

    Watercolor is lovely blending of meanings…memories, a def bonus for us 🙂
    Love and Peace,

  7. love the image of future tongue-kissiing the toes… & isn’t it crazy how the millennium instant – after all that hullabaloo around y2k & wow, actually being here, alive when the calendar turns over so decisively – seems so far in the past now, just a memory along with all those others… as we grow older

  8. nice memories…vibrant with water talk…painting reminded me ‘Wizard of Oz’ characters walking into….life to solve the problems…it gets new meaning with your poem…forgive me my imagination…probably you had something else i your mind….and boxes with apples…very well reminds me my stories….nice nostalgic read

  9. ahhh a lawn warm enough to sleep on. and the crickets sing so memorably. my favorite stanza is your: “& i can’t remember if you loved me into dark’s comforting seams, air thick with apple scent and change” … wonderful imagery and bright playfulness.

  10. Another lovely foray into the intimacy of your poetic past, resplendent with illustration, both in water colors & words, and somehow you rattle those remembrance bones, even getting the future to shrimp your sweet toes as smile and share that long hot summer with you.

  11. Beautiful, Claudia, this is a new favorite of yours. The images are so well wrought – the grass scar, the seams of the air, the rainbows by the pool, the zirp of the crickets – really evocative and wonderful. k.

  12. Summers are brutal here.
    I loved how you gave life to a memory through your words… every part of it was alive. One could feel it… one could even touch it.

  13. it is easy to get lost in this piece. I liked the “I don’t remember” part—though one would think such an evening would be etched into your memory…

    on another note, the watercolor is quite lovely.

  14. I love this section, Claudia:

    “architecturally doubtful tunnels
    in and out the grass scar, hunGry //thiRsty–

    & i can’t rembember
    if you loved me into dark’s comforting seams, air thick
    with apple scent//& change–”

  15. Your watercolor had me into memories before treading the first line; it set the mood of brightly held moments sizzling. I love the hard work and sweat and smell of apple-picking when the trees sing a wicked tune! Oh. ALready this poem had my heart! Who writes about that glory? Or the rainbows children make poolside? Future as fish nibbling toes? I love this! O, what shall I write? Where’s the juice?

  16. You are a great poetic storyteller – something I don’t do very often but did tonight as this prompt obviously lends itself. A bit out of my comfort zone… but that is good. The painting really works as the white was kept in the middle and nicely silhouettes their retreating figures!

    “& i can’t rembember
    if you loved me into dark’s comforting seams, air thick
    with apple scent//& change–”

    You can’t remember? ha – but I do love the whole stanza.

  17. really nice water colour and memories of scorching summers – which we have here. The tongue kissing my toes shot me back to ‘Fergie’ – scorching as the heat and great imagery.

  18. I really like how the apple symbol that quietly appears in the first stanza, makes a come-back at the end of the poem (well, on the 7th stanza). Apples are a traditional symbol full of meanings related to life, death, good, bad, temptation. Nice!

  19. Well, I’m late to the party as always. Very nice poem. Sunburns, worms, crickets, picking apples (for me it was lemons and peaches)…. all memories I have as well. Lovely memories!

  20. What vivid memory and images. The scent of apples permeates your poem, and I like that part where you slept outdoors… You brought back the peak of summer to me.