Slice of Life – Whoa, Summer!

Today’s Slice of Life at, 31 August 2021

Wow, here we are and another summer gone. School started for teachers this week, and I am officially just a volunteer for four more months, when we will leave the country. Though I have spent a few hours at school this week for some meetings, helping with curriculum questions, and searching for books, I am no longer employed. It has been a long and weird transition of leadership due to the pandemic and a whole year of mostly-online learning. Now we are transitioning to mostly in-person learning (knock on wood), and there were some things the new coordinator never saw or needed to do last year. I am glad I was still around to help her sort those out.

Anyway, summer is gone. I looked back at a July post where I wrote many of my goals for the weeks of summer, a summer spent here in Bahrain in the thickness of heat and humidity. Looking back, I can say it was a productive and happy summer. I definitely accomplished a lot on my list, with a few items left to carry over for the fall. However, knowing I didn’t have to return to the full-time grind allowed me to have both a relaxed and fruitful summer.

A poem attempt today, trying a form by Joyce Sidman, used in her book Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold, and described here in this post by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes.


What does summer know?
Time to bud and blossoms showing
Merrily, merrily, life a-rowing
Calm and meditative glowing

What does summer know?
Wide-eyed wonder, newness flowing
Memory-building ripe for stowing
Almost over — attempt at whoa-ing

After reading the comment by Carol (below), I added this poem to an image I took this summer. In this photo of a common beach scene, fishing boats are anchored, for people are resting safely during the heat of the day. If you look off to the right of this photo, across the Arabian Gulf lies Iran, beyond that…Afghanistan, where many people are not resting safely and peacefully right now. I couldn’t help but read my poem again, noticing the privileged tone and all the missing summer pain of pandemics, hurricanes, and displacement. Praying for those in Afghanistan, Louisiana, and all others who are hurting.

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life – Whoa, Summer!

  1. Denise, I am so glad that your summer was productive even though the humidity and heat were elevated this year. Having a relaxed and fruitful summer is something to sing about but in your case, it is to write about. That you did with a What ___Knows poem. Love this line: “Time to bud and blossoms showing”. In fact, I enjoyed this poem so much that I’d like you to offer it for my Nurturing Our Summer Souls Gallery collection. I hope to curate the gallery during the month of September. Let me know your thoughts. If you would like to add a photo, please do so and make sure to sign your name and location for others to know where you were located while writing.

    1. Thank you, Carol. I will gladly share it for your summer gallery. I added an image, which found me thinking of and praying for the nation of Afghanistan.

      1. In faith, we pray for those experiencing the pain of this summer,
        Denise. World events are beyond our control right now but nature is here to nurture our souls. It is with faithful pray that we can offer hope for tomorrow.

  2. With a small nudge, ‘add a photo’ you took your poetic phrases and lifted it even higher. I love your poem. I loved seeing in action how a comment lifted your writing.

  3. I love your rhymes! Wishing you a happy four months before you leave the country!

  4. The words created images for me, the picture layered meaning, then your reflection had me reflecting on my own privilege too- which I know I too often take for granted.

    1. Thank you, Erika. Yes, it was quite a stark realization after writing the top of that post, only concerned about my own little school here, forgetting all that’s going on. It was good to see that Arabian Gulf and realize what is happening around the world.

  5. This poem makes me miss summer. Love especially the wordplay in “whoa-ing!”

    Thanks for your prayers for Louisiana. My children will be here soon. A friend said, “It’ll be like Christmas!” I hope so. They are just so torn and have no where to go. I am happy we can be a safe haven.

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