Hypothermic images in summer sun

The quintessential English summer beside a lazy river, Glistening waters slide idly by,
The pop of corks and cans, shrieking laughter of children, Basking in the joy of childhood soon to pass,
Burden free, without limits on imagination, to be whoever they can be, And dreaming to be who they want,
I watch boats pulling through smooth strokes,
Gliding effortlessly by through sparkling glass,
Their ripples licking the edges of the grassy bank,
Butterflies flutter in the breathless day’s sun,
Glints cascade off water, showing July’s beauty,
Viewed through polarized protection,
Content and full, I slumber in a half waking world, My love lying across my exposed flesh,
Perfumed and sweet, watching the rise and fall of her sleeping breast, And stroking her soft golden hair,
I dream in vivid and disconcerting tones,
Of another time, another summer, of fortunes bleak and vacant,
I stand alone in the night, by the water’s edge,
Cold and dark, floating like black silk, lit only by midnight moons glow, The silver mists of summer’s dying swirls upon autumn’s chill breath, Cold damp earth between my toes, screeching owls the only sound, This spark of happiness gone, extinguished,
Emptiness and hurt fills this lifeless form,
Death and pain clouds my muddied mind
Images so opposed and alien to this present I’m living,
Was I pushed or did I fall, this chill shudders through me, Footsteps on a soon to be dug grave,
A soft moist touch of lips caress my face, colour and warmth float back, This image elusive and nagging my mind, out of its grasp and forgotten, Left to sleeping grumbles and twitches,
My love kisses me back to hot summers river,
Warm grass between my toes,
Half smiles and reassurance quell her apprehension,
In the distance the jingle,
Of vans with a cornucopia of iced treats, and gaudy pictures, Screams of delight ring out,
And summers sun shines on for me.

This poem was written with a deliberate throw back to ‘by the lake’. I was hit by the correlation of the eclipse described in Stephen King’s books “Geralds Game” and “Dolores Claiborne” how each of the central charictures saw an apparition, of sorts, of the other during the same eclipse in different locations. I read each book a few months apart, and as I read the second account it struck me, hard.

I thought it would be a clever tool to use in my poems, just the once, something like that could get a bit tiresome if over used. I worked from the original poem and fitted the rest of it around a line from that poem. I hope it works, as I know what I did, and consequently has no surprise for me, well until the dementia sets in any way, then it could be an hourly surprise to keep me occupied in the old folks home while waiting for my adult nappy to be changed.


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