Summer Twilight in France: A Poem; Eating Al Fresco, Lights, Sounds, Birds, Stars & Satellites

Al Fresco life in France

Eating out in France is wonderful but the best eating out for me is not in restaurants but under the huge lime tree in our garden. The tree is the hub of our outdoor life there.

The best time is in the evening; it's shady under the tree, sheltered from insects by the gazebos and when we have family and friends around we spend the evening hours chatting, eating, drinking wine, often until the small hours. The balmy air doesn't chill and the time passes swiftly in the midst of such conviviality.

I love it and I hope this poem gives you an idea of what it's like.


Full moon rising!
Full moon rising! | Source
Bon Appetit!
Bon Appetit! | Source

A French Summer Twilight

Eating al fresco, company convivial,

delicious wine, discussion genial,

electric-blue sky lights the end of day,

cicadas tune up their orchestral fray.


They thrum a rhythm, their vocals loud,

a vast commune, a chatty crowd.

As they converse, the swallows swirl,

acrobats a-wing, a scene unfurls


Of silhouettes against near-dark,

replaced then by the outline stark

of radar bats, the family three

twist, turn, catch prey, their nightly spree


Of flitting, swooping, hair a-parting.

Our guests converse, the darkness starting,

as daylight dims, the stars flick on -

and shooting down - quick, there! ..aah... gone.


Kings of all we survey
Kings of all we survey | Source
The Night Sky
The Night Sky | Source

More silhouettes against the sky,

the peacocks roost, a final cry

of Léon! Léon! as if to say

this is our tree, we rule the day!


Our final search in the vast expanse,

for satellites, an odds-on chance;

they fly high, probing for information,

sending signals to nosy nations.


Owl prompted silence, dark as dark,

the air is fresher, we shiver, we hark

as distant train or barking canine

chase us in to sleepy bedtime.


Copyright annart (AFC) 2014

(No copying without permission; no changing of original hub)




Eating Outside or.....?

Do you prefer eating....

  • outside whatever the meal?
  • outside when it's a BBQ?
  • out in a restaurant?
  • as a guest in others' houses?
  • inside, at your own table?
  • with all the family?
  • just a cosy meal for two?
See results without voting

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Comments 38 comments

annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you, manatita44. I appreciate your visit and kind comment.


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Great poem and great poetry. Shalom!


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Yes, DDE, I love the summertime when one can sit out late at night and still be warm - it doesn't happen often in England!

Glad you like this. Thanks for the visit and comment and thank you for following me. Ann


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Night time is more interesting and one has to be alert but the findings are so exciting your photos are so beautiful. In the summer we sit outside until eleven or so the quietness and listening to the owl or the nosie of some creature is just so thrilling.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

RTalloni: Thank you for your kind comment. Yes, we've said a temporary goodbye to lots of friends but we'll be visiting regularly so it's not such a wrench. In fact, we'll be back there in April.

Glad I managed to 'put you in the picture'! Ann


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

It seems you have said goodbye to a good many friends, but your poem took me there. Very nicely done.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England Author

Well thank you, Manatita44! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I like to write poetry but I need to feel it from experience.

I hope your part of London is not too wet and soggy. I'm off to look at your site. I appreciate your visit. Ann


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

I do not always see poets in poetry, but you are most certainly visible. Pranams.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Tuatha, what a lovely comment! Thank you so much. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Ann


Tuatha profile image

Tuatha 3 years ago from Fayetteville, NC

I really enjoyed the scene painted here Ann. Could actually hear the wildlife's song in my mind and the scene in my heart. Thank You!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Romeos Quill, for your wonderful comment and encouragement. Don't do poetry that often but I'm having a 'phase' at the moment - must be the French countryside that does it! Back to colder Britain tomorrow - hooray, looking forward to it! Ann


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

You've clinched the atmosphere you wished to create for us beautifully, and your verse is just great - now hearkening to those memories of long Summer nights - this is the life! Lots of well-deserved clicks and sharing.

All the Best,

R.Q.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you Scarlett Rain. I'm glad you enjoyed it; I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Much appreciated.


Scarlett Rain profile image

Scarlett Rain 3 years ago from Bakersfield

Beautiful. Great hub, I've really enjoyed reading this (:


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

jravity1: What a lovely compliment! Thank you. I'm glad you liked the poem and thanks for reading; much appreciated.


jravity1 profile image

jravity1 3 years ago from bellevue, MI

You did very well here. It takes a lot for me to see a poem. If you have actually seen one that wasn't your own, then you know what I mean.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

jcressler, thank you so much for your kind words. I'm happy it had such an effect on you. Ann


jcressler profile image

jcressler 3 years ago from Orlando, Florida

This is a wonderful poem! I so enjoyed how easily it brought me back to another place and time....I swear I've been exactly where you were as you penned this artful piece.

This is my favorite part:

"electric-blue sky lights the end of day, cicadas tune up their orchestral fray. They thrum a rhythm, their vocals loud, a vast commune, a chatty crowd. As they converse, the swallows swirl, acrobats a-wing, a scene unfurls."

Thumbs up and all the rest!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

tobusiness; well, thank you so much for your appreciation and wonderful words. The scene is so inspiring, I suppose that's why it's so good to write about. Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Ann, this is beautifully done, every word paint a picture; I'm right there with you, as the sun sets and life settles down.

Loved it.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you Wayne for your kind comments. Glad you liked it. Ann


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 3 years ago from Clearwater Florida

I could hear the cicadas as I was reading. Absolutely beautiful poem.


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

dreamseeker2: Thank you for reading, for your kind comments and for the votes. Good to see you. Ann


dreamseeker2 3 years ago

Very nice! I love the sounds of the evening and the shadows at dusk. You brought it all to our world through your poetry and images. : ) Voted up!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Movie Master: thanks for your kind comments and votes. Glad you liked it. Ann


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi Ann, this is so lovely, I loved the poem and pictures.

Thank you and voted up!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

dilipchandra12, thank you for dropping by; I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. Happy new Year!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you, Rosemay50, for your kind comments. Good to see you. I often wonder what info those satellites actually record as they pass over so rapidly! Glad you enjoyed this. Happy New Year!


dilipchandra12 profile image

dilipchandra12 3 years ago from India

Beautiful poem, enjoyed reading the same.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 3 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Ah this is lovely and evokes so many memories, although I haven't experienced all of the night sounds in the one place at the same time. Lol. Loved the 'Nosy nations'

You captured the life at night so well

Aewsome


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you, epigramman! I love the way you 'own' the lake, sounds lovely. May your 2013 be all you wish it to be too. Ann


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

so lovely as if it were a scene out of a movie and I have all of this in the sky, in the atmosphere, in the environment, in the ambience over my lake - except the divine company at the dinner table.

Sending you sincere warm wishes for your happiness , health and prosperity in 2013 from lake erie time ontario canada 3:29pm


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thank you Debbie. Happy new year to you too.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 3 years ago from Brownsville,TX

beautiful poem Ann.. so nice to meet you.. I hope you had a good Christmas

Happy new year

Debbie


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

Thanks Amy! Glad you like the photos. I know what you mean about being outside in the calm night air. Thanks for stopping by. Ann


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 3 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I love the outdoors at night. Recently, I went outside at 3 a.m. to view the meteor shower. It was a cold, crisp, silent night with shooting meteors lighting up the sky. Your beautiful poem reminded me of that quiet, solitary, magnificently magical sight. Your photographs add just the right touch. Awesome!


annart profile image

annart 3 years ago from SW England Author

So often the first comment is from you! Thank you, billy, for such lovely words. I value your friendship and your support too. May Christmas time bring joy and peace to you and your family and may you all have a wonderful 2013 (and good luck with your future writing). Ann


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Very lovely Ann! You know, I have almost been here one year now, and you are one of the first to have followed me....so our friendship is about to celebrate our one year anniversary. Thank you for that friendship, and thank you for being who you are. Merry Christmas to you and yours my friend.

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