Durham Summer


Lazy summer days

Swim into view in a memory haze,

The warm glow of nostalgia and sun,

Lingering glimpses of friendship and fun,

Images from the past,

Whose ghostly presence is fleeting,

Feel so bittersweet,

With longing and happiness meeting,

A life once short-lived,

In my mind now relived,

Through the blurred lines of reminiscence,

Like a glimmering effervescence,

The cloudy perfection

Of my dreamy reflection.

Zigzagging in rowboats, or floating serenely,

Pleasant country walks or sunbathing keenly,

Inner children set free, high on the swings,

Or barbecue evenings, sitting in rings,

Alcoholic sunrise, a sea of white shirts,

Bouncy castles and courtyard concerts,

Scents of wild garlic, cider, cut grass,

Flitting moments not destined to last,

And the beckoning tunes

Of laughter, birdsong, soft rain,

Midsummer music craved to hear again.

Joyous games in dwindling light,

As golden sunset gave way to night,

Beneath shadows of cathedral walls:

The euphoria my heart recalls.

Dancing through the dark hours to disco beats,

Cheesy music, cheap drinks,

Singing and swaying up the cobbled streets,

Recovery by the riverside,

Aching head and bleary-eyed,

Nursed to health by sunshine and ice cream,

Now all but a dream.

Only a few years ago,

And yet a million worlds away,

How I pine for those lazy summer days,

And wish that they could stay.

Emma H, 18/05/2016, aged 25


The best part of university was the post-exams, pre-results period – 3 or so weeks in June with no lectures, no seminars, no tests, just free time to relax, socialise and have fun. As my old photos pop up on my phone to remind me of these fantastic times, I figured it would be apt to post this nostalgic piece in tribute. It’s hard to believe that it has actually been almost 4 years now since I graduated!




Oh how it steals the sky


its furry wing.

First drop like a warning on the back of the hand.


Hunch-backed panickers under a canopy of cloth.

First flash slices like a warped guillotine,



then the rumbles of war-drums rolling,

Beating the rhythm of the cataclysm yet to come.

Watch how the hail sharp

as lightning

Comes thundering to the ground;

It stings on skins

and puddles in shoes

and nestles in hair

and escapes down the neck relentless, regardless.

It is upon us; waging battle upon an unprotected earth,

Stabbing down with crooked pitch forks,

Then the psychological warfare

of the crashing cymbals and the pounding of timpani:

The percussion of belligerency,

and they scream again.

Oh when will they learn that this kitten purrs for play,

Not growls for fear?

Just a bid for attention, that’s all,

But finding only turned backs

                                                                                It stalks away.

This is the end of playing war…

Over too soon?

Emma H, age approx. 16

An oldie to end the week! I wrote this poem in my mid-teens (I’d guess 15 or 16 years old) and I’m pretty pleased with the result even now. I love the atmosphere of thunderstorms – we’re talking tame British thunderstorms here – and I can’t understand why some people get so scared! The photo is from a storm about 3 years ago with some of the most dramatic cloud formations I have ever seen…

A Selection of Random Images 4

17634742_10154643089353031_7984418496285607336_nThe tiring sun

Kisses the moon goodnight

On his plump cheek

Leaving a partial gleam

In the darkening azure sky.


The beaming faces

Of violet and canary pansies

Like cheerleaders

Lining the roadside

To celebrate summer’s coming.


Flimsy jigsaw piece

Lost and lonesome

Dropped upon concrete

Leaving an irreparable hole

In an absent puzzle.


Lipstick tulips in

Man-eater crimson

Paint the flowerbed

With eye-catching shades

Attracting attention.


Opalescent heavens

Over the copper setting sun

Igniting airplane trails

Streaks of molten gold

Enriching the view.


Emma H, age 26, 07/04/2017

Fourth poem in my series describing ordinary sights from an ordinary day/commute as poetically as possible! You can read the previous poem here.