Of Hot Kettles and Old Books

Here’s a short piece. The poem focuses on a grandmother woven together from memories of my two grandmother’s, both amazing, wonderful women. I miss them.


Her books line the shelf
like old soldiers, leaning on each other,
on large candles, and a bookend
shaped like Winston Churchill,
it’s forehead cracked when dropped
years ago, some forgotten age.

She asks me to find the old hymnal
that remains heavy with her faith.
Amazing Grace is her favorite.
Softly, we sing together until
the kettle’s shrill voice trumps ours.
Only then could I eat a cookie
left waiting for me near the stove
on a kitchen napkin.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Final Trio.”

WordPress Photo Challenge: Yellow

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge reads, “While we love bananas, lemons, and peppers (and you’re more than welcome to show us your yummy, fresh produce), challenge yourself to think beyond fruits and veggies. It could be the pencil you’ve worn down to the nub making holiday to-do lists, the flaxen locks of your child, an eye-catching bit of ribbon, a macro shot of a piece of handed-down amber jewelry, a glass of bubbly champagne, or even a three-photo essay on the way sunlight lands in different areas in your home at different times of the day.”

Here’s a photo I took this past autumn. It screams yellow.

photo by S. Thomas Summers

photo by S. Thomas Summers

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Yellow.”

Santa Speared by Reindeer


Santa Clause’s Body

Santa Clause was found dead, this morning, outside a home in Vernon, New Jersey.

Mourning reindeer were found near his body. Accoding to witnesses, one of the reindeer accidentally punctured Santa’s abdomen with one of its antlers. Almost 300 lbs of strawberry jelly spurted from the wound, saturating the ground around Santa’s body, leaving the jolly man flat and lifeless.

According to police, none of the reindeer would name their clumsy compatriot.

An investigation continues. No charges have been filed as of this writing.

Doctors and candy makers hope to re-jelly Santa as soon as possible. All the world hopes the transfusion and reanimation is successful.

The Easter Bunny and the Great Pumpkin have agreed to make Santa’s Christmas Eve deliveries.

Merry Christmas!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Getting Seasonal.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge reads “This week, share with us your photos of twinkling light. You will need to find a light source and a reflective surface in order to capture a twinkle, but those are the only limitations. Your photo could be the sparkle of an ornament, as in the photo I’ve shared. Perhaps it is a crisp catchlight in the eyes of a loved one, or the millions of twinkles in the waves of a body of water as a sunrise’s first rays appear. Maybe you’d like to try your hand at nighttime photography, and capture the sparkle of stars. Where there is light, there will be a twinkle.”

This photo posted below, like many of my photos, was taken in my yard. Northern New Jersey had just suffered an ice storm.


photo by S. Thomas Summers

Pondering Ophelia

Last week, I finished teaching a unit on Shakespeare’s Hamlet to a group of high school seniors. Many of my students were troubled by the poor treatment Ophelia, Hamlet’s love interest, was caused to endure. Arguably, said treatment led to her death. She threw herself into a pool of water and drowned. A suicide? Perhaps. The troubled state of her mind at the time of her death make the intent of her actions questionable.

Last night, rather early, early this morning, I was prompted to pen these simple words regarding Ophelia’s death. Earth shattering? No. But I like them. Hope you do too.



For a moment,
she shuddered

as the cold
water scratched

her lungs.
Then, shrieks

of darkness.
The rest
is silence.

Recently Acquired: a Poetic Duel

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Recently Acquired.”

Reviewing the writing prompt mentioned above, I was reminded of New Jersey poet William Carlos Williams’ poem This is Just to Say. I share it here.

This is Just to Say


I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold


Here’s my response to Williams’ poem.

But you missed
the peaches
I hid behind
the milk

Two in a white

Their sugar
from my chin

thick like syrup

was sweeter