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Upside-down Abecedarian of Summer

July 21, 2021

NOTE:  Before reading the following poem, notice only the first letter of each of the 26 poetic lines:  you will find the alphabet in reverse order. 

An Upside-down Abecedarian of Summer

poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa

Zinnias bloom and remind me of my grandmother’s garden. 

Yellow marigolds stand with perfect posture in porch planters.

X marks the spot for hiding a summer treasure.

Willow guides me along the sidewalk of the shaded side of the street.

Velvet nights bring out the dancing light of fireflies.

Under the summer Moon, find a midnight gardener.

Toes that dipped into the cool water leave impressions in the moist sand.

Swim and stroke the water of a blue pool.

Raise “Old Glory” into a warm and gentle breeze.

Quiet the cicadas with the closing of a window.

Pickle what needs to be pickled; preserve what needs to be preserved of summer.

Oars of a canoe stay only briefly idle to allow for our listening  to Mother Nature.

National Parks welcome vacationers.

Malted milk and other ice cream treats keep us cool.

Lakes with water skiers and boaters are photographed.

Kitchens clos on the hottest days; outdoor grills open.

Journeys far and journeys near bring forth new and relaxing vistas.

Indiana roads take us home to memories and friends.

Herbs–basil, rosemary, sage, and spearmint–add fragrance to my garden.

Gifts of gardening are savoured and shared.

Family gathers around a picnic table or on the front porch.

Elegant geraniums grace my container garden.

Drinks of lemonade and iced mint tea await visitors.

Croquet wickets, posts, mallets, and balls lie ready for players.

Bocce, badminton, and baseball offer more fun for the season.

All is warmly well with our little part of the world:  let’s thoroughly enjoy summer.

* * *

Summery, best wishes!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow

July 21, 2021, Wednesday


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  1. Hi Alice, I enjoyed this summertime poem. I like how you brought past and present together – merged them into a nicely flowing poem. My favorite line? That is hard to choose. This one is particularly meaningful to me – in the area that is now my Zen Meditation Garden, was a deep swimming pool for thirty-two years. At night we had underwater lighting and the kids would be in that pool day and night. Today, the pool is only a memory but Old Glory waves over the garden in the warm breeze of a summer day – amid the rows of hanging baskets of flowers that are on each pole of the wraparound porch. I like your summer memories – past and present.

    Swim and stroke the water of a blue pool.

    Raise “Old Glory” into a warm and gentle breeze.

  2. mfanyo permalink

    Summery best wishes to you and Willow, Alice! All the memories and images in your wonderful upside-down poem were so enjoyable! We have especially had fun making swimming memories with our five grandchildren—or should I say, “Fish!”
    Love, Mary

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