Deep Summer




Deep Summer

I inhale
then stop

nostrils singed by scalded air
too hot and thick to breathe

I fill my lunges
to bake them in sustaining breath
this inferno to endure

skin weeps

salted droplets trace my spine
baste my neck
gather in the hollow
of my labored chest

hesitant in its struggle

bitter beads bloom and seep
from beneath the smother
of matted soak —
ooze down fevered slope
into my eyes

…and sting

molten sphere in steaming sky
glares down


energy expires
desires evaporate

thoughts grow sticky
coated in midday

tasks at hand
plans to make
will wait

life roils slowly
simmering deep in summer

even dreams are scorched

• • •

rob kistner © 2009


13 Responses to “Deep Summer”

  1. Anthony North Says:

    A powerful take on all the elements of a hot summer. Excellent.

  2. Rob Kistner Says:

    Thank you Anthony – 😉

    I have been through a rough period of a severe neck injury, that made sitting at the computer difficult — so my entries since April’s NaPoMo are few.

    However, I am beginning to feel better and we are having a heat wave here in Oregon with 100+ degrees this coming week, so I was inspired…

  3. Granny Smith Says:

    I especially like that “thoughts grow sticky/coated in midday”. Your vivid evocation of the senses in the heat of summer is (as usual) masterful.

  4. Rob Kistner Says:

    Thank you Phyllis –

    Your kind words are always appreciated… 😉

  5. Old Grizz Says:

    You did a great job making me sweat. You sent me on a journey of time to a day in my youth, cleaning my grandfathers barn. The hot sun scorching through the cracks in worn out roof. The seat burning my eyes. I could even smell the hay and the manure. How did you get the smell part in?
    You have a great site. nice writing
    sorry to hear you injured your neck. cannot be fun

  6. Dana Says:

    Hi there! It’s been a while since we connected…. 🙂

    Stunning poem……makes me feel hot inside as I read it. Our summer has been anything but scorchy, but I do remember!

    Rob, I’m sorry you’ve been through such severe sounding pain. I’m glad to read here that you are on the mend though….. take good care.

  7. Rob Kistner Says:

    Thank you GS –

    I appreciate the kind words.

    I think we must have had the same grandpa… 😉

    Stopped by your sites, and I’ll be back to spend a bit more time.

  8. Rob Kistner Says:

    Hello again Dana –

    Nice to see you visit.

    I’m pleased you liked this piece, thank you!

    These old bones of mine have a lot of mileage, a journey I can’t and wouldn’t change — but parts break down and/or fail sometimes… one just does the repair, and moves on.

    I appreciate the well wishes… 😉

  9. Thornbird Says:

    I loved the imagery. I guess I can totally relate to this because its boiling hot here in India!

  10. sundaycynce Says:

    You certainly captured it, Rob!!!!! Been there, done that all, for many years. Now we are somewhere fresh and new.

    Your comment format is a bit different; hope I did it correctly.

  11. sundaycynce Says:

    Me again. I usually read others comments on the way to adding my own. Today I did it backwards. I am really surprised, because your poem is so “spot-on” for south Florida near the water to learn that you are writing from Oregon—imagine that. You really have vividly reproduced the experience for those who have felt that kind of heat. I suspect you have created it as well for those who do not know it first hand.

    So sorry to hear of your neck injury. Hope it continues to heal fast.

  12. Rob Kistner Says:

    Thank you Thornbird… 😉

    We are entering a period of weather in excess of 100 degrees Fahrenheit — hence, the inspiration for this poem…

  13. Rob Kistner Says:

    sundaycynce –

    Glad this poem spoke to you… 😉

    We are entering 100+ degree weather right now here in Oregon. Also, when I was an entrepreneur (home theater designer), I had offices in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Naples (Florida). Naples, which is adjacent the Everglades, was a stifling oven in summer, as was Cincinnati in the dead of August — so I know heat on a first name basis!!

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