A Poem for High Summer

There is something about the hottest part of summer — “high summer,” as it is sometimes called —  that I have always loved.

Maybe it was just because school was out and I could read anything I wanted.

But I think it had more to do with a truth my Grandmas Burr observed, barely concealing her complaint. “Central Oregon has only two seasons: Winter and August.”High Desert Summer

I longed for the romantic spring of the English poets, and an autumn that was warm enough to wear my Halloween costume without a coat — but the harsh winds brought frosts during both seasons. And I even remember one Fouth of July picnic in the mountains when it snowed.

High Summer, though, was magic. The scent of juniper and sage rose in waves of heat from the high desert floor. Broiling sun coaxed lizards out on to the lava rocks. The clean, clear water from our mountain spring was the most welcome drink in the world. Berries ripened, and our skin browned.

It almost made up for the lack of lilacs and pumpkin fields.

So, in honor of these hottest days,  I’ll share with you a poem from Year-Round Read-Aloud, Read-Along Rhymes: Celebrating Holidays and Seasons.

Four Winds

The East Wind is a gentle breeze
Stirring blossoms on the trees,
She whispers secrets to the clouds
And brings the hint of rain.

The south Wind sends a scorching sky
And bakes the summer grasses dry.
Across the hot and thirsty land
He rolls the lightning storm.

The West Wind shares a lush display
Of swirling leaves and smoky gray
Ripe with spicy apple smell.
Her richness fills the earth.

The North Wind howls and whips the snow
To hurry, faster, faster, go!
Stinging the air with sleet and ice
He drives the frozen night.

Each in its season comes again:
A memory of what has been,
The promise of the circling year
Renewing time and life.


What’s your favorite time of year?


About Susan Call Hutchison

A self-publishing author, editor and blogger. I have years of experience working one-on-one with readers and translators of English, at all levels of competence. My books include the Read-Aloud, Read-Along series and Mrs. Middlejoy's Church Mouse Adventures chapter books. I run an internet business from my home in Idaho and I tutor students learning English as a foreign language. Fostering literacy is my passion. I work to help families read, learn and enjoy creative time together.
This entry was posted in Central Oregon, Children's Books, Poem and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Poem for High Summer

  1. Flora Poste says:

    Dear Susan,So well captured again and I love your reminiscing of your youth in West Oregon: never been there but just could close my eyes and picture it.
    I like every season and by the end of each season I am ready for the next. I like the blooming nature and awaking of spring, the carefree joy of summer, the bountiful harvest and colors of fall and the stillness and reflectiveness of deep winter as we have experienced in Canada. I think, I might have a hard time living in country with no seasons? Thaks for sharing, Johanna.

    • Thank you, Johanna! I lived for eighteen years in Southern California, and though I loved the weather, I never stopped longing for the seasons. I’ve just made it back north to Idaho in the last six months, and it has been a real treat to watch the seasons roll again!

  2. Beautiful Susan and a far cry from the blustering winds and the frost on the ground over here I might stop awhile and play at your place.

    • You’re always welcome to come and play! It’s somehow romantic that just as our Northern Hemisphere is experiencing high summer, the Southern Hemisphere is in the deep of winter. So maybe this poem was more appropriate than I realized at first!

  3. Sheryl says:

    Lovely poem! I’ve never heard the term, “high summer” before, but it is wonderfully descriptive, and I’m going to have to try to remember it.

  4. gpcox says:

    Such wonderful memories expressed in a lovely manner.

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