From sunrise to sunset, these poems may not refer to a particular season, but (today, at least) I won’t try to pass them off as anything but part of my growing collection of summer poems. I won’t even claim that these poems are final versions … more like practice; thus, the varied forms, including the wordplay of a rhopalic, in Dawn, Lakeside, where each word in a line has to have one more syllable than the previous word.

Oh, I love Fall’s colors—how earthy greens blaze into warm hues as the weather cools. I even enjoy how Fall’s warmest colors darken and fade to a wintry gray, when trees open land to sun instead of stealing it away in shadows. 

But Summer … speaks to me, with warmth, a sunny disposition, long days and hesitant nights. This summer, I was especially taken with the early starts and late finishes of the season. Weather patterns created spectacular views, and I was fortunate to capture some of those moments both in words and photographs.

Following the poetry selection you’ll find a prompt to help spark your creativity. You could have a draft in just 20 minutes! Just write prose? That’s ok. Follow the prompt and free write away. You’ll end up with words on a page that may prove useful.



Every morn, Sun opens her eyes and reigns
the dawn—outshines her distant sister stars,
cuts through a clutter of clouds, illuminates
⁠soft silhouettes, awakens lake water—while
⁠ I linger between sweet dreamland and reality.

sunrise on Watauga Lake

Dawn, Lakeside

Dawn, lakeside,
at sunrise—watery exaltation.
Mist entrails levitate, reverberate illuminations.
Clouds command atmosphere;
Sun’s ribbons radiate explosively.
Dawn’s brilliance embraces enigmatic opportunities.
Mind creates clarity—meditative vaticination.
A morning modulates.
Sky opens.
Hope rises.

sunset on Round Bald.

Shadows lengthen; sun
drifts away. Stars ride wide skies—
brilliant life, lonely death. I
wonder at a moonless sky—
Tomorrow blossoms once more.

dawn on Watauga Lake

Dawn illuminates
⁠such fresh possibilities—
⁠dwell in hope today.

Prompt: Grab a Line

I have encountered this technique in several settings and by different names. If I’m having trouble getting something on paper, I sometimes use this technique. I have not tried it, but I bet it could be interesting to try with prose as well. You can complete this in under a half hour.

How the prompt works

1. Pick one line from a poem. For this exercise, grab a line from one of my poems above or from another you have handy. Don’t worry too much about which line to pick. Just grab words you find interesting.

2. Use the line you chose as the first line of your poem. Don’t think about details yet. Write down the line and move to the next step.

3. This is the fun part. Take 15 to 20 minutes to free write. This is important. Don’t think about form, don’t edit the language, just write and see what pops up.

When you finish the free write, you can work the words and shape a poem. You can do this step right away, or later.

Three things I like about this prompt

1. You’ll end up with something on paper. I’ll take a page of bad writing over a blank page any day.

2. The looseness of free writing lets you wander down paths without worrying about destination. It can lead to interesting places.

3. You read other people’s poetry, which both inspires and informs.

Get writing!

My poem, Sleeping, resulted from this prompt. I pulled the opening line from the middle of a poem, the title of which escapes me. That line took me on quite a journey during my free write.

I don’t always walk away with a poem I can edit. But I usually have something I can use in my poetry. Sometimes I pull something from the free write for a different poem entirely. I might get multiple poems from this exercise. I’ve definitely found new subjects and themes to explore. If you try the prompt, please let me know how it worked for you. Happy writing!

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Poetry and photos copyright Lisa Kamolnick 2020.

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