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 comments

  1. kelly · August 18, 2012

    Oh yes, it’s too bad we have to grow up past those days… but at least we have memories, like these, to carry with us.

    Like

  2. claudia · August 18, 2012

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

    Like

  3. ManicDdaily · August 18, 2012

    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.

    Like

  4. Susan L Daniels · August 18, 2012

    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…

    Like

  5. susanjanejones · August 18, 2012

    Fabulous.

    Like

  6. Playamart - Zeebra Designs · August 18, 2012

    really really nice, like a soothing dream that lingers upon awakening. z

    Like

  7. brian miller · August 18, 2012

    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…

    Like

  8. Polly Robinson · August 18, 2012

    Aw, David, ‘ice poles’, I remember them so well. Love the images you’ve used. A really evocative poem about summer.

    Like

  9. danadampier · August 18, 2012

    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!

    Like

  10. Laurie Kolp · August 18, 2012

    Love the contrast between the two stanzas… Skynard boys, yeah.

    Like

  11. Victoria C. Slotto · August 18, 2012

    So good, David. I enjoy how you cover the transistion from Childhood to the teen years. And sultry is such a good word for summer.

    Like

  12. Three Well Beings · August 18, 2012

    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

    Like

  13. flipside records · August 18, 2012

    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.

    Like

  14. kindredspirit23 · August 19, 2012

    Oh, the thoughts we had about ourselves when we were young.

    Like

  15. Beautiful poem David, very vibrant with its imagery for the mind and soul…it was very lifting!

    Like

  16. Mohana · August 19, 2012

    lovely pictures…this smells of nostalgia, the football teams, guitars…all of it 🙂

    Like

  17. sonny · August 19, 2012

    almost my favorite of all i’ve read in this prompt today…..beautiful !

    Like

  18. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Thank you very much!

    Like

  19. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Thank you so much, Mohana.

    Like

  20. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Thank you so much!

    Like

  21. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Debra, thank you once again!

    Like

  22. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Thank you so much Victoria – I am grateful.

    Like

  23. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Thank you Laurie!

    Like

  24. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Thank you!!!

    Like

  25. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Thank you very much Susan!

    Like

  26. dfb · August 19, 2012

    Thank you once again!

    Like

  27. Eclipse · August 19, 2012

    Oh so beautiful imagery within…
    Brilliant.

    Like

  28. John (@bookdreamer) · August 19, 2012

    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 .

    Like

  29. J Matthew Waters · August 19, 2012

    an absolutely wonderful poem, thoroughly enjoyable

    Like

  30. clawfish · August 19, 2012

    full of feeling and senses loved it

    Like

  31. Michael (contemplativemoorings) · August 20, 2012

    Being an adult sucks…Summer is Exhibit A…

    Like

  32. Soma Mukherjee · August 20, 2012

    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 🙂

    Like

  33. bardessdmdenton · August 20, 2012

    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!

    Like

  34. granbee · August 20, 2012

    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.

    Like

  35. rangewriter · August 20, 2012

    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.

    Like

  36. dfb · August 21, 2012

    Thank you so much once again. Yes, to be fair the bales are all shapes now.

    Like

  37. dfb · August 21, 2012

    Thank you very much GB!

    Like

  38. dfb · August 21, 2012

    You are so kind, thank you so much!

    Like

  39. dfb · August 21, 2012

    Thank you so much Soma!

    Like

  40. Emma · August 23, 2012

    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.

    Like

  41. dfb · August 23, 2012

    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’!

    Like

  42. Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen · August 31, 2012

    It seems we had a similar childhood.. weren’t we so lucky!! And free!!

    Like

  43. dfb · September 1, 2012

    Yes! Pity we’re not so free now. 😦

    Like

  44. bardessdmdenton · September 7, 2012

    Lyrically and descriptively nostalgic and a little bittersweet in its reflection of life moving on … especially as expressed in the last two lines.

    Like

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