Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Picnic(s)

A book of verse beneath the bough,
A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness –
Ah, wilderness were paradise enow!
"The countryside — usually a village by a river or ringed by hills — 
scores well as the family picnic destination."
 Photo: V Raju in "For the love of picnics" by Anjana Basu 

"A picnic may well be a metaphor for life. The essentials for happiness are the right company, moderate if sanguine expectations and a reasonable standard of physical sustenance and comfort, the whole being bedeviled by the belief that there is always something better to be had if only one presses on." ~ P. D. James

Midweek Motif ~ Picnic(s)

"It's no picnic!" is an English idiom meaning "It's difficult."  I've had some difficult picnics, too, what with bugs, wild things, and forgotten bottle openers ~ but the basic idea is to get away from normalcy with very good food, drink and company. Sometimes for me, the company has been a very good book.

What are your fondest picnic experiences? the funniest? the most unexpected?

Your Challenge:  Using sense images, bring a picnic to life in a new poem

Hungarian: Majális (1873) Picnic in May

Knoxville Tennessee

 I always like summer
you can eat fresh corn
From daddy's garden
And okra
And greens
And cabbage
And lots of
And buttermilk
And homemade ice-cream
At the church picnic
And listen to
Gospel music
At the church
And go to the mountains with
Your grandmother
And go barefooted
And be warm
All the time
Not only when you go to bed
And sleep

The Shadow Voice

 My shadow said to me: 
what is the matter

Isn't the moon warm
enough for you
why do you need
the blanket of another body

Whose kiss is moss

Around the picnic tables
The bright pink hands held sandwiches
crumbled by distance.
 Flies crawl
over the sweet instant

You know what is in these blankets

The trees outside are bending with
children shooting guns.
them alone.
 They are playing
games of their own.

I give water, I give clean crusts

Aren't there enough words
flowing in your veins
to keep you going.

Grape sherbet

by Rita Dove 

The day? Memorial.
After the grill
Dad appears with his masterpiece–
swirled snow, gelled light.
We cheer. The recipe's
a secret and he fights
a smile, his cap turned up
so the bib resembles a duck.

That morning we galloped
through the grassed-over mounds
and named each stone
for a lost milk tooth. Each dollop
of sherbet, later,
is a miracle,
like salt on a melon that makes it sweeter.

Everyone agrees– it's wonderful!
It's just how we imagined lavender
would taste. The diabetic grandmother
stares from the porch,
a torch
of pure refusal.

We thought no one was lying
there under our feet,
we thought it
was a joke. I've been trying
to remember the taste,
but it doesn't exist.
Now I see why
you bothered,


Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

              (Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ Light )


  1. Hello Poets, what a lovely prompt we have today! Looking forward to reading you. Thank you Susan for sharing this nostalgic song and delightful poems. I like Omar Khayyam's verse a lot.

  2. Happy Wednesday, poets! Susan offers us such a wonderful prompt today. She is away this week, so I will make the rounds for her. Susan, thank you for the inspiration. We are thinking of you.

  3. Such a beautiful prompt, Susan! Love all the poems you've selected. Beautiful.

  4. Happy 2019 International Day of Families; perfect day for a picnic weather permitting

    much love

  5. I iumagine the sun is shining where you are, Gillena, perfect for family picnics! It is sunny here, and all of the spring blooms are stretching their arms out in the warmth.

    1. Its sunny Sherry also very hot so for a good picnic the shade of a tree is advised😊


  6. Just saying, i have edited my post and added stuff, so if you have already visited, visit again. don't miss out on the fun

    much love...

  7. Will do, Gillena. Thanks for letting us know.

  8. Thank you, Susan, for the inspirational poems. My mind was taken back to some of the unsuccessful picnics on wet and windy British beaches of my childhood.

  9. Oh, that sounds intriguing: wind and wet and the roar of the sea!

  10. Hello Everyone! Joining in today, happy Thursday.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Hello Poets United Friends,
    I have just returned to Poets United after quite a time away, mamaging an eyesight issue.
    I am hoping to return with some regular contributions.
    It is good to be back again. Eileen


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