Lights and Shadows

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – Weekend Mini-Challenge –
“Summer Solstice”  (posted by Toni)

“Today on this day after summer solstice, I want you to mark the occasion – to pay attention to the sunrise and dawn, to mark the passing of the sun. Ancient cultures did this – Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Chaco Canyon for examples. The sun pattern on Chichen Itza for the spring equinox looks like a serpent – “the return of the Sun Serpent.


Machu Picchu – Temple of the Sun on Summer Solstice

In today’s Chaco Canyon, the Ancestral Puebloan people, who were expert sky watchers, carved spiral designs into rock to track the seasons and the passage of time. In this canyon is a petroglyph called the Sun Dagger because of the way the sun’s wedge-shape beams strike it in midday during the summer and winter solstices.


I want your feelings about this summer – the fresh berries you had on your cereal for breakfast, the cobbler you baked, the bees you watched pollinating the flowers, the minnows swimming in the creek, the way you watched the sunrise or set, the water on sand. I want your stillness, your mindfulness, your reverence for this day. I want your joy about the beginning of summer and your vacation!”

Shadow steps
climb up siding
as sun strikes.
Dog lies down
in patch of light. Sister’s gift–
lantana plants which

attract butterflies–
dots of yellow and orange.
swarms with bees.
Light lasts longer on
solstice night.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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15 Responses to Lights and Shadows

  1. kanzensakura says:

    Oh i love lantana and the thoughts of lavendar swarming with bees- delicious! And the dog napping in the sun – I love this image. Yes the light does last longer and it makes such a delightful day. T&ank you for posting and sharing your day.


  2. oldegg says:

    Yes Lantana is good but it does tend to take over (in Australia) so can be nuisance too. Sadly it is our longest night and shortest day over here but at least we know it will get a lot hotter (eventually)!


  3. Kerry says:

    I like the way you worked in all the references to light and life.


  4. Light and flowers… that is the magic of solstice. Sent and sounds as well.


  5. Just Barry says:

    What a gentle evening ripe with elongated step-shadows, summery scents and dancing colors. Lovely scene you’ve painted.


  6. Susie Clevenger says:

    Love the mood, all the colors


  7. I really like the effect of the stanza break. I can almost see the butterflies flying to the plant, kissing the blooms. So summery!


  8. Margaret Elizabeth Bednar says:

    lantana and bees – and a summer solstice eve… lovely


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