English Summer

English summer


The roads weep tears of tar

As the country bakes.

The smell of dust and burning earth

Mingles with the scents

Of barbecues and beer.

Dogs pant, distressed

By this unusual heat.

The puddles that once

Were inland lakes, shrink,

Dry up and vanish,

Leaving cracking mud

Peppered with footprints.

A few days only,

And yet we crave rain,

A cooling breeze at least;

The nights a humid torment,

Skin sticking to sheets,

Mouth parched by 3 a.m,

Head pounding from poor sleep,

We curse the early birds,

The only ones pleased

To see the rising sun.

Lawns yellow, turn to straw,

The earth beneath unforgiving

As concrete or stone,

Holding the heat for hours

And giving it back all night.

Tempers fray, quarrels start,

Passions rise to boiling point.

The long days draw out,

Hellish hot and airless,

Fields whiten with ripening wheat,

The thrips infest my hair,

Tickling and torturing me

With pinpoint irritation

Grown great with weary heat.

Too brief, these days of sun:

Thunder storms relieve us,

The first drops sizzling

As they hit the burning ground.

The air, cool and damp,

Brings fresher nights

And better sleep for all.


10 thoughts on “English Summer

  1. Lovely poem:)

    My thoughts:

    Why English Summer? The poem can well be called Indian Summer. But yesterday morning it rained! The pre-monsoon showers! (Monsoons are late and we had one of the hottest Junes yet:-()

    Licks n wags,


    • In England an Indian summer is a hot spell in September. Don’t ask me why, but it is!!!
      It’s not as hot where I live as it is everywhere else in England; we’re a good ten degrees centigrade cooler than London! I guess it’s being on the coast!!


  2. I was once in England during a heatwave, and I remember how baffled I was that nothing anywhere was air conditioned, not even the public buildings. Everywhere I’ve lived it would be impossible to survive a summer without air conditioning. Well, I tried a few times in NYC, retreating to the museums and bookstores to cool down. I thought England in the summer would be such a pleasant change, and there I was in something comparable to NYC in July!


    • There’s no point in installing it for the maximum two weeks a year when it’s needed, Alice, and too expensive as well.
      Plus there’s evidence that air con makes you fat!!!!
      I’ve now put an old fashioned fabric and wood fan in my bag for school this summer…


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