August Poppies

Blood red blooms line dusty country lanes,
they dot the village verge, and a meadow
explodes into a rippling scarlet sea.
Here and there blow pale pink blooms,
their blushes fading in the sun,
papery ghosts haunting tired fields.

Dog day heat has scorched the brittle fields,
the only shade is found in leafy lanes,
even cows seek respite from the sun.
Yet butterflies flutter in the meadow,
colourful and delicate as poppy blooms,
navigating a wind-tossed grassy sea.

Returning from adventures on the high sea,
a sailor strides home across fields
scented with August poppies and other blooms.
Sweethearts stroll hand in hand in country lanes
and children hide in tall grass in the meadow,
their faces golden from the sun.

The punishing face of the August sun
does not distinguish between lake and sea,
juvenile stream and broad river, meadow
and ripened crop-filled fields.
It finds every pebble in the lanes,
each spot of mildew in fading wild rose blooms.

A scarlet poppy like a wound blooms
in the ditch beside the road; the thirsty sun
has drunk the earth dry.  All along the lanes,
trees susurrate like the sea,
competing with brittle fields
and overgrown summer meadows.

Insects tick and chatter in the meadows,
accompany the gentle pulse of vibrant blooms,
while in the thirstily rasping fields
hardened soil cracks in the sun.
Tanned bodies seek solace in the sea
or haunt the cool shadows in country lanes.

Crimson-spattered meadows dry in the sun,
a flock of frazzled blooms on a rusting sea,
and blushing fields fade to daisies in the lanes.

Kim M, Russell, 15th August 2019

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Image found on Pinterest

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetry Form: Sestina, also linked to Poets United Poetry Pantry

This Thursday Victoria is our host as we take off to the south of France, the land of complex poetry, and back in time to the 12th century, and the sestina. She tells us that the form is thought to have been developed by the troubadour Arnault Daniel, who would have set his verse to music since the theme was often focused on love.

Victoria says that the sestina is quite complex, with strict requirements, based on the repetition of six words which follow a given pattern of repetition as the end words of each line. It consists of six stanzas, each with six lines and concludes with a three-line envoi. Tricky!

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50 thoughts on “August Poppies

    1. Thank you, Bjorn, and thank you for the song link! I like Paul Simon and that was a song I haven’t heard before. One Paul Simon song I love very much is ‘Renee and Georgette Magritte with their dog after the war’. There are plenty of others. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh Kim….you had me as soon as you wrote the word Poppies in the title. I LOVE poppies…they asre such a burst of color! And you’ve described them…and this beautiful nature scene…so very well.
    “Here and there blow pale pink blooms,
    their blushes fading in the sun,
    papery ghosts haunting tired fields.”
    I especially love the words above…..but soooo many words are absolutely delectable in this write.
    I love the sound imagery as well….and the sailor, sweethearts, and children too. I’ve taken a beautiful walk with you here. So very very well done!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Such a gorgeous field of flowers and poppies. I felt like I was walking inside an enchanted garden inside of a meadow rippling a scarlet sea.

    I specially love this part:

    A scarlet poppy like a wound blooms
    in the ditch beside the road; the thirsty sun
    has drunk the earth dry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Like so many others, you hooked me with /papery ghosts haunting tired fields/, and your fifth stanza is killer. I’m proud of all of us who’ve tackled this form challenge. Adversity leads to broadening horizons and tweaks on our personal styles. With the next sestina, perhaps joy will insert itself, as it did in yours.

    Like

  4. Such a burst of colour and emotion in this, Kim! ❤ Especially like; “The punishing face of the August sun
    does not distinguish between lake and sea, juvenile stream and broad river, meadow and ripened crop-filled fields. It finds every pebble in the lanes, each spot of mildew in fading wild rose blooms.” 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the juxtaposition of the soft beauty of poppies, children, love and the harsh, punishing heat from the sun. It’s all true. All part of the wondrous picture you have painted. Embrace one, embrace all. So well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The repetition, rhythm and tone give this poem an extra hint of haunting. It feels like traveling and country and seeing familiar glimpses on different peoples and places. The closing envoi works so well–I can see the fading happening…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your beautifully imaged visuals (which I’ve noticed are a bit of a lovely signature for you as they are so splendiferous) are, once again, utterly stunning. Wonderful writing … the kind of piece I enjoy lingering over.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a beautiful poem which took the reader right into the scene. Poppies will always have that wonderful relationship with death where the loss of a loved one especially in war is comforting by their beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

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