Poem: ‘August in Yesteryear’

English: Summer field in Belgium (Hamois). The...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summer was once ices poles and living
on bikes; we were free like swifts
screaming circles in the air. Greens
were for football and teams twenty a side,
roads for playing cricket, where cars
were stalling aberrations. We lay
on lawns watching clouds, minds unfettered
in those zenith blues; guilt
and care belonged to
some other world and school
might well have been
beyond the moon.

Only later came guitars with boys’ awakenings;
serenading neighbours
sunbathing in the yard, or the shock
of full moons rising late in the day. We really
thought we had credence, like southern
Skynyrd boys, singing in that
sultry heat with school coming at us
like banks of cloud, the football season
begun and cricket nearing its end,
watching shadows gathering
where the sun once shone

poem © copyright David F. Barker 2012

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44 thoughts on “Poem: ‘August in Yesteryear’

  1. nice.. very atmospheric write with great memories…could feel your heart in this..smiled at school behind the moon…i so agree…ha

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  2. Just lovely. Wonderful details and images. I think my favorite line:

    Only later came guitars with boys’ awakenings;

    and, of course, the school clouds! k.

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  3. We lay
    on lawns watching clouds, minds unfettered
    in those zenith blues; guilt
    and care belonged to
    some other world and school
    might well have been
    beyond the moon.

    Love it. I remember this…

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  4. you def captured a bit of my youth man…summer was so much fun back then…the days went on forever and the playing into the night…nice transition as well to the teen years..played guitar back then too….crickets, love them too…

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  5. I really enjoyed reading this! I read it a couple times as a movie played in my head. It brought back a few memories for me as well!

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  6. Oh this brings tears to my eyes! I’ve been having conversations for a week with friends, remembering when summer was just like this! You’ve described my summers beautifully! I don’t think my grandchildren will really know the length of days you bring to my memory! Every day is packed and fast paced. I think it’s loss to childhood. I love this! Debra

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  7. Great memories. Times have certainly changed, eh? Love these lines:

    “screaming circles in the air”

    “where cars
    were stalling aberrations”

    “Only later came guitars with boys’ awakenings”

    A garage band is the perfect topic for this prompt.

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  8. Shocking to think that these are not the memories of most children from the 80’s onwards. I saw the first show of a long running soap opera last year that started in 1963 and the opening scene was children playing in the streets. Now I’m surprised to even see the occasional child in our street .

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  9. David we are so blessed arent we..so many beautiful memories of our carefree yesterdays when we were kids..every rain the fields would become hugs mud and puddle lands and we would play there just to get dirty …and on the roads boys would play cricket and we would play hop scotch, 16 stones, and hundred such games kids today have not even heard about
    beautiful poem 🙂

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  10. I always enjoy the intelligence in your poems, especially in terms of your use of words. Lines and phrases like:
    ‘and school
    might well have been
    beyond the moon.’
    are so uniquely yours. And I love that you are often a scene poet, a story-telling poet. Excellent work, as always!

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  11. Bless you for bringing back such wonderful memories of student days when August was that great time of glorious anticipation, yet reluctant parting with the slower pace of summer.

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  12. Memories. Oh yes. Your image drew me in. I never expected to see round bales on the other side of the pond. I don’t know why. I guess I associated them with big wide-open spaces.

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  13. Hey David, I love the nostalgia of this- it does so take me right back to those days when we spent all day outside (I don’t even remember stopping to eat!) and when all we cared about was being out of doors playing ball or roller skating or riding our bikes or whatever we did to fill those days. It’s sad how much things have changed.

    Love that you’ve used Skynyrd as a point of reference for the teen years- how music becomes so important. I’m watching my teenaged brother go through this stage right now, and man does it bring back all those memories.

    Such a wonderful poem. Hope you’re doing well.

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  14. Hi Emma – yeah I’m ok thank you and hope you and the family are too.
    Yes, I was pretty much the same as you, spent so much time outside. I was brought up in the flatlands (fenlands) of south Lincolnshire, a very agricultural area with miles of quiet roads. They’re not so quiet now though.
    American music played (and still plays) a very important part of my teenage years. I learned to play guitar with an older friend who was heavily into the Eagles, Little Feat, Skynyrd, country… but also bands like Steely Dan. If the the 60s were pretty much dominated by English music, I think the Americans dominated the early 70s and the latter was the music we enjoyed. I still avidly listen to those bands and some, like Little Feat, were so underrated.
    Emma, thanks very much for your comments and ‘take it easy’!

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