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Remote Summer Poetry with a Friend

Remote Summer Poetry with a Friend

by Denita Stevens

Last summer Cherri invited me and my Pomeranian to EST for a poetry reading/signing for my book, Invisible Veils, which included an event for the public that followed a private event exclusively for the participants.  Both events were held in the garden, which made it feel extra special being surrounded by colorful art projects made by the participants, flowers, and greenery.  As expected, there was plenty of tea along with fruit and special treats, some of which were also made by the participants.

Denita Stevens and her pomeranian

I sipped freshly brewed mint tea as I read a selection of poems, shared the origin of why I wrote each one of them and how they helped me cope with trauma, depression and anxiety. Throughout I emphasized why I gravitated toward poetry as a way of expressing thoughts and feelings I didn’t always feel comfortable sharing otherwise.  The discussions were touching and helped me feel connected with those who were there, especially the participants who could relate to some of the feelings I’ve experienced as well.

After that wonderful experience I had hoped to return to EST again this summer to meet with the participants again to do something a little more hands on like a writing workshop.  Because the day program has been running remotely since March, facilitating a workshop via Zoom was our only option.  During our first virtual meeting in April, we covered blogging and potential ways to contribute to EST’s blog like some of the participants have already done, most recently in It’s Best to Start the Day with an Open Mind by Dan Waite and The Yellow Door by Kara Curtin.

tea and poetry at extraspecialteas

We continued exploring writing and expression in July when we met online again, except this time I guided them through the process as a group in an effort to create something together.  We started with the goal of writing a poem about summer. Initially we talked about what we liked about summer and from there I asked them to share more specifically how they experience summer through the different senses of sound, smell and taste.  I loved how freely and enthusiastically they shared what they liked or didn’t liked.  As we talked I wrote down the words they shared, but was a little disappointed I couldn’t capture how they smiled and their faces lit up as they spoke of the things they loved. 

Once we wrapped up the meeting I sorted through the seven pages of notes and edited them into poems, which are posted below.  Hope y’all enjoy reading these pieces full of joy as much we enjoyed creating them!

Note: most of the phrases and words are what they expressed with only a few deviations from the original.

Denita Stevens

Summer

I like summer

Because it’s calming

It’s awesome

It’s the best

 

I like summer

Because it’s sunny and hot

 

It’s awesome

It’s the best

 

Sounds of Summer

Fireworks

Crackling.

 

Owls

Hooting

 

Waves

Crashing

 

Lawn mowers

Running

 

Crickets

Chirping

 

Smells of Summer

Fragrance of

Flowers and gardens

 

Aroma of

Rain

 

Odor of

Skunks

 

Scent of

Lemonade and sun tea

 

Tastes Like Summer

Chocolate chip cookie dough,

Cherry Garcia,

And mint chocolate chip

Ice cream.

 

Hot dogs,

Hamburgers

From the grill

At family gatherings.

 

Berries

Freshly picked

Or put in a pie

With a side of ice cream.

 

With a glass

Of lemonade or tea

Made in the sun

Or at the teahouse.

 

 

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