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Summery Abecedarian

June 20, 2018


Summery Abecedarian–The Second Season, Then and Now


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Azure skies holding on longer and longer to the setting sun,

badminton shuttlecocks whirring in the evening air,

cotton candy sculpted around a paper cone,

delightful music from Symphony-in-the-Park,

embers for roasting marshmallows,

fragrance of clover from a Hoosier field,

gardens offering hearty toil and treats from the soil,

handlebars of bicycles guiding the way through the season,

ice cream custard with a fancy curl on top,

jump-rope rhymes chanted with laughter,

kittens and puppies exploring new surroundings,

lemonade, lightning, and lilies-of-the-valley,

marigolds brightening the flower pots,

nighttime skies painted with Fourth of July fireworks,

open windows bringing the outside in,

peonies, petunias, and picnics at Paris (Illinois),

quixotic dreams and earnest conversations from a front-porch swing,

racetracks for thoroughbreds and Indy cars,

swimming in deep water at the Aragon Pool,

trails for hiking through the cooler woods,

umbrellas offering a slide for summer raindrops,

victory cheers at warm summer games,

wickets in the chemical-free lawn for croquet,

xenolithic treasure found along a creek,

yawns at the end of a long summer day,

zinnias in autumn colors to remind us of the too brief summer.


SUMMER-CHALLENGE NOTE:  If you have not yet written an abecedarian, I encourage you to try this poetic form of wordplay sometime this summer.  Aim to select the initial word of each line as a strong word–a noun, verb, or important adjective.  The abecedarian need not contain a rhyme scheme, but try to select poetic words and phrases while being mindful of the readability and rhythm of your poetic lines.  After you are satisfied with the “a-to-z” poem, return to the document and make the initial letter of each line boldface or another distinctive typeface so that the letters at the far left column stand out as the letters of the alphabet in alphabetical order (as in the above abecedarian).  Have fun with penning an abecedarian about summer or another topic of your choice!  You have 72 days of meteorological summer to complete your abecedarian by September 1, 2018.  Happy writing!


PAW-NOTE:  On June 20, 1980, my dad and I drove to a farm (which was near the farm of former US Senator Birch E. Bayh) to pick up a picture-perfect, buff-colored American Cocker Spaniel whom I named Chico.  What a sunny and memorable day that June 20 was!  Chico was part of our family for over eleven years.


Best wishes for a special and happy summer!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


June 20, 2018, Wednesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Beautiful memories of summertime, Alice. It brought back many memories in my own summers of the past. Thank you! Lynda

    • Hi, Lynda–How nice to hear from you on my blog!  Thanks for your kind comment.  Memories must form chains that link us all together.

      Take care and enjoy this wonderful season of summer–Alice and Willow

  2. Hi Alice, what a wonderful play on words for the summer season. Thanks for sharing. The line for X was especially creative and I noticed your got in the puppies and kittens, too — lol.

  3. Masterful! Lemonade, lightning, and lilies of the valley. I’m speechless Alice. Hats held wicked high! dp

    Sent from my Windows 10 Desktop machine


    • Hi, Deon–You are much to generous with your comment, but I thank you so much! The “L” line is one of my favorite lines also; sometimes, choosing just one focus for the line is challenging. On the other hand, finding one good word beginning with “X” is lucky.

      Enjoy the weekend and summer–Alice and Willow

  4. What a wonderful poem, Alice, filled with memories of summers-gone-by when we were growing up in Indiana! Your well-chosen words bring back the sights, sounds, and fragrances of all the joyous activities that filled our summer days and evenings. Thank you for capturing all of those special times for us! Although I will likely not try to write an abecedarian, I have just read once again your lovely poem entitled, “A Floral Abecedarian,” a copy of which if framed and displayed in my home.
    With love and appreciation,

    • Hi, Mary–I am so glad you added your comment to this post. Being limited to 26 lines did not allow for some memories which I would have liked to include in this poem also.  I hope that some of the other recollections will appear in future blog posts.

          Special thanks for framing my “Floral Abecedarian”!  I have often thought that I should wallpaper a room with my poetry!  One of the walls would have to have braille versions of the poetry!

      Enjoy the weekend and summer–Alice and Willow

  5. Sue McKendry permalink

    Alice–Enjoyed this poem so much! You certainly followed your own advice, picking such suitable opening words for each line. I also enjoyed reading your paw note as I’ve always loved Cockers.–Sue

    • Hi, Sue–Many thanks for your nice comment!  Yes, Cocker Spaniels  are such bright, affectionate lap dogs.

      Wishing you a rain-free and happy weekend–Alice and Willow

  6. Carole permalink

    I love this form of poetry, Alice! Perfection, as always!

    • Hello, Carole–I am glad to know that you like this form of poetry.  A friend of mine recently shared with one of my writing groups a “reverse abecedarian.”  Before the end of this year, I hope to try a “reverse abecedarian.”

      With thanks for your comments and many “likes” also,

      Alice and Willow

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