Thursday, July 25, 2013

Southern Summer Swelter

Intro by Laurie Epps

The sweltering summer heat in the Southern U.S. is notorious for being muggy with temps as high as the humidity. Nothing else is like a southern thunderstorm in the middle of July. Thunderstorms are often very loud, and give life to legends like God moving around his furniture or having a party in heaven. 

So break out your lawn chair, shorts, lemonade or sweet tea, and get comfortable. Play a little blues, and make sure to serve up some Carolina barbecue for this nostalgic type poem from our beloved Kenneth O'Shaunnessy.

Southern Summer Swelter
By Kenneth O’Shaunnessy

I ventured outside once

in a Southern Summer swelter.

I left my little house with the low ceilings,

with the close crackerbox walls

and the nicotine-curtained windows.

I slogged into the claustrophobic bodysuit

of dancing water molecules

and shimmering solar steamers.

I tried to breathe underwater once -

This was harder, because there was hope,

and a little oxygen and nitrogen.

I think Jimmy Hoffa was buried

in a Southern Summer sky

one hazy post-meridian.

Turns out mosquitoes are water-bugs,

drinking burgundy juleps

from heat-engorged tumblers

amidst finger-fanning slaves.

Finally I reached the freedom

of the family Ford Fiesta.

It was an H2O-less Hades heat,

but better to burn than boil.

Thank God for that one lasting

Full-service Hess station, for,

As God is my witness,

I will never go outside again.

Kenneth A O'Shaughnessy is a freelance writer and poet living in the upstate of South Carolina with his wife and four children. To find his daily poetry entries, log onto:

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