by Michael R. Burch
The hazy, smoke-filled skies of summer I remember well;
farewell was on my mind, and the thoughts that I can't tell
rang bells within (the din was in) my mind, and I can't say
if what we had was good or bad, or where it is today...
The endless days of summer's haze I still recall today;
she spoke and smoky skies stood still as summer slipped away...
[We loved and life we left alone and deftly was it done;
we sang our song all summer long beneath the sultry sun.]
I wrote this poem as a boy, after seeing an ad for the movie 'Summer of '42, ' which starred the lovely Jennifer O'Neill and a young male actor who might have been my nebbish twin. I didn't see the R-rated movie at the time: too young, according to my parents! But something about the ad touched me; even thinking about it today makes me feel sad and a bit out of sorts. The movie came out in 1971, so the poem was probably written around 1971-1972. But it could have been a bit later, with me working from memory. In any case, the poem was published in my high school literary journal, The Lantern, in 1976. The poem is 'rhyme rich' with eleven rhymes in the first four lines: well, farewell, tell, bells, within, din, in, say, today, had, bad. The last two lines appear in brackets because they were part of the original poem but I later chose to publish just the first six lines. I didn't see the full movie until 2001, around age 43, after which I addressed two poems to my twin, Hermie …
by Michael R. Burch
you can hear the strangled roar
of water inundating that lost shore...
and you can see how white she shone
that distant night, before
and she was gone...
But is she ever really gone from you... or are
her lips the sweeter since you kissed them once:
her waist wasp-thin beneath your hands always,
her stockinged shoeless feet for that one dance
still whispering their rustling nylon trope
of―'Love me. Love me. Love me. Give me hope
that love exists beyond these dunes, these stars.'
How white her prim brassiere, her waist-high briefs;
how lustrous her white slip. And as you danced―
how white her eyes, her skin, her eager teeth.
She reached, but not for sex... for more... for you...
You cannot quite explain, but what is true
is true despite our fumblings in the dark.
Hold tight. Hold tight. The years that fall away
still make us what we are. If love exists,
we find it in ourselves, grown wan and gray,
within a weathered hand, a wrinkled cheek.
She cannot touch you now, but I would reach
across the years to touch that chord in you
which still reverberates, and play it true.
Tell me, Hermie
byMichael R. Burch
Tell me, Hermie ― when you saw
her white brassiere crash to the floor
as she stepped from her waist-high briefs
into your arms, and mutual griefs ―
did you feel such fathomless awe
as mystics do, in artists' reliefs?
How is it that dark night remains
forever with us ― present still ―
despite her absence and the pains
of dreams relived without the thrill
of any ecstasy but this ―
one brief, eternal, transient kiss?
She was an angel; you helped us see
the beauty of love's iniquity.
Keywords/Tags: young, love, summer, summer time, smoke, smoky, smoking, haze, fog, foggy, cloudy, sky, skies, heat, summer heat, sexual heat, smog, mist, sultry, Summer of '42, Jennifer O'Neill, Hermie, hermit, sky, skies, cloud, clouds, cloudy, farewell, goodbye, memory, memories, teen, teenage, teen love, boy, boyfriend, first love, World War II, confusion, regret, recall, recollection, memory, remembrance
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem