The Spirit of Summer

July 06, 2021

We walk through sandy ditches, padding through crawling vegetation;

Ruby red feather-heart leaves wobble and bob gently in the breeze,

And, amongst the curling stems, hiding underneath umbrella leaves,

Pink hearts with pin-prick seeds lie in wait, ready to be eaten.


A wood mouse, wet nose twitching in the warm sweet breeze,

Tip-toes towards the bountiful branches –

Delicately prising off the berries, peeling the flesh away to reveal

Sweet crunch seeds, which glisten like stars.


A merl of blackbirds descends onto the pink picnic,

Gulping berries back whole by the dozen –

Singing between mouthfuls; black feathers glistening

And eyes sparkling in the evening glow.


We walk together through sandy ditches, stooping low towards the fruit;

Hands reaching out and gently twisting the berries,

Which pop! In the mouth – a starburst of sweetness –

The spirit of summer.


This poem is my entry into Elliott & Thompson and Steve Rutt's "The Spirit of Summer" writing competition - it is inspired by a wild strawberry-filled walk that I went on yesterday, and the joy of picking wild fruit!

An infographic of my poem can be viewed below: