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Summer Afternoon

Updated on December 9, 2011

Dear Friends,

This is sort of like, "reading along with mother". I invite you to read this poem by yourself, aloud, or silently to yourself, or to listen to it being read... or perhaps, read along with me.

I hope you enjoy it.

Could I believe how lonely I could become,

Or could have been, had I not known?

If you had never been so beautiful

As to my eyes when first I looked into your own.


If I had lived in blessed ignorance of how

Such charms could be enthroned in one sweet soul;

Had been oblivious of how a lazy smile

Could rip my heart to shreds within no time at all.


You simply turned a glance towards me

On a languid Summer afternoon,

By slowly moving, just a fraction to the right,

To gaze obliquely in my eyes. You smiled.

A gentle voice came tumbling lazily

From out that smooth and faultless neck;

Perfectly dented whence that sound should come.

Moist lips; perfection in a curve.

Arched brows; each subtle line

So artfully drawn by God’s sweet hand.

No lovely detail spared. Oh careful artisan.


Those perfect mirrors of the lapidary’s art:

Rock-crystal, amethyst and jade,

Lapis lazuli and ancient artefacts

Would flee in anger from your faultless orbs

If that your eyelids had not softly shaded

Those most perfect eyes; yet raised themselves they did;

Speckled gold and green disarming flecks

Of sweetly insidious charm; no calumny planned or designed.

And yet they opened. Innocent and dark as night

To gaze so lovingly at me and so to draw me in.


Oh that you had not that sweet scar upon your chin

That scar that does not mar your lovely face,

But simply draws attention to your remaining perfection.


I curse each black and luxurious lash.

I curse each raven thread that lies so perfectly

Along the lines of your soft and darkly glowing lids.

Why are they so pure, so thick, so gently curved?

Why do they lie so sweetly on your sleeping cheeks?


And why should lips be full as yours

And moist and full as freshly broken pomegranate;

Each translucent jewelled seed, moist, oozing sweet perfection,

Lit from within, miniscule lamps of fragrant syrup.

Ripe perfection to press upon my own in harmony.


And could I have walked away from this,

Retraced my steps, unwilling feet to escape your snare?

Held up a dagger and a breastplate lest your charm

Could show how lonely I could become?

If I had fallen beneath your lovely spell

Or could have done, had I not known,

How you had been so very beautiful

As to my eyes when first I looked into your own.

But yes, I walked into your snare. Charmed for life.


And now I am entwined within the threads;

The loveliness that you wear so perfectly, so well.

Your face, your hair, your lovely eyes,

Your gentle touch, your charming voice.


And if I would break free, and Lord, I might,

I’d need to leave my heart, my memory, my mind,

And all five senses that would be useless ever more,

For without the person that you are, they’d pine and die

For want of gazing on you, feeding on your loveliness:

The sound, the scent, the sight, the touch. The taste

Of your sweet lips. And if those senses should take leave,

Then I should surely expire, like them, and be no more.


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    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      A lovely and realistic comment, femmeflashpoint. Thank you for taking the time to come and to listen and to read.

      It is nice when someone makes a comment that shows the poem or story has been read and understood.

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

      I love a poem wrapping around a story that I "get".

      I especially love it when I like the story as well ...

      This one was excellent in every regard.

      Poor guy! Fluffy lashes, faultless necks and pomegranite lips are a dime a dozen. I hope he'll venture out to find a set of those that can manage to love him back. :)

      femme

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Eiddwen, thank you for your extremely kind comment. Your visits are looked forward to and a comment like that warms my romantic old heart.

      Ian

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Augustine, all that "crotchedy, abrupt, and brusque" is a sham, really. i am a very emotional and soft hearted person, but with that goes vulnerability, so on the outside I am somewhat impregnable, but on the inside... squishy!!!

      Your last two sentences make me blush with gratitude: "This poem was beautiful, and stated in such a way that it could not be mistaken for anyone elses work. Beautiful"

      Let me remind you that when Sunnie introduced me to you and Mike, and Becky came along, I was feeling low and as if I had little to offer, but by your concerted efforts, you brought me out of all that.

      Thank you so much.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Absloutely beauitul and I vote up up an away.

      Eddy.

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

      Ian, you can be crotchedy, abrupt, and brusque at times. ANd that's on a good day. However, your poetry seems to sweep all that away. Your not one for false bravado, nor do you like syrupy comments or fleeting attention. This poem was beautiful, and stated in such a way that it could not be mistaken for anyone elses work. Beautiful...

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Phew!

    • profile image

      Doug Turner Jr. 6 years ago

      No worries -- I was never taken out of the poem. I simply had to look up "lapidary" -- which I now know. So I should thank you for expanding my vocabulary on this chilly sunday evening when I should be studying my math homework instead of dabbling with poems. I can't help myself; it's where my heart lies.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Five star words? There is little I dislike more than stopping the flow so as to run to the dictionary... I apologise. It's frequently a sign of pretentiousness!

      I always have a feeling of trepidation when I see that you have visited, Doug, Your poetry is so beautiful and meaningful, that I am in fear of you saying, as all teachers do, at times, "Could do better".

      Thanks for the visit (Exhales in relief)

    • profile image

      Doug Turner Jr. 6 years ago

      Eloquent has been used several times in these comments, but it must be reiterated: eloquent. This flows very well -- even when utilizing some 5-star words (I had to run to the dictionary once or twice). Really like how the scar accentuated your muse's beauty. I feel the same way about imperfections; such blemishes add character to the face. Enjoyed this.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      Awgeewillikers. . . . you do me much honor. Bunches of hugs back on you!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nellieanna, what a lovely and eloquent comment. You really are too kind.

      This made me smile... no, laugh: "This is truly too good to cast before. . . judges." It underlines several of our conversations.

      But I really mean it, I wouldn't have got nearly so far without your enthusiasm and encouragement and your teaching.

      Many, many hugs,

      Ian

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      OOPs, - Ian, I was so caught up in your poem and its effects that I neglected to thank you for the kind things you said about me in your comments. Be assured that you need no mentor! But any little help I can give, pleases me to do. Thank you, snakeslane, for your kind reference, as well.

      Another afterthought: I just read it again, your suggestion to read the poem along with your reading. It would be like a duet - and noone to hear it if my voice spoils it. So I think I'll try to - in the morning when I'm more fully awake. It's now become after 3AM! Well spent, time very well spent. . .

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      Ian - After just reading your "Bridges and Connections" and being totally infiltrated with the feelings and sensitivity of that lovely string of pearls, now I discover this out-of-this-world poetic presentation narrated by none other than yourself! I can't describe the way it makes me feel from head to toe -- like a tonic has brought about deeper breath - like the prana - and a lovely awareness. This is truly too good to cast before. . . judges. It needs no approval or prizes to be what it is: poetry in every sense of the word, as well as a love story and a theme for a film, for sure. Again, it paints the pictures. One can see such a love and the recipient of that love.

      I can't withhold my enthusiasm for it, even though my words are noise by comparison. I can't exaggerate because there are no words adequate to express the response it summons here.

      How glad I am that you mastered making the video! Your melodious voice lifts the visions even more.

    • profile image

      writeronline 6 years ago

      Hi TL, apropos our earlier exchange; "Go for it, WOL".

      I have. (I did?) It's up. If you feel like reading a personal reveal on a topic on which you've similarly revealed, look for "True Life Story" on my profile page..

      (An ivitation, not a request...)

      Cheers

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ian, thank you very much.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Eiddwen, thank you for your very kind remarks. I really appreciate them.

      And congratulations, again, for your poetry publishing deal.

      Yay!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Mike, I wonder if you realise how much your encouragement and friendship have helped me so much during the time since Sunnie introduced us to each other's work.

      Thank you... and than you also, Sunnie.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      You are lovely, Sunnie. Thank you so much for that sweet comment.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I've not seen it, Snakeslane. but I will seek it out. Thank you.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Thisis a gem and your voice is so right;it has that depth that this one needs.

      Take care and have a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Good morning Ian..I had to listen once more..while I am familiar with this lovely voice...it still is so nice to hear once again.

      Hope you have a wonderful day,

      Hugs,

      Sunnie

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      Got it! It was 'Atonement' with Keira Knightly, have you seen it?

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, Mike. That comment was enough. Thank you for those words. They mean a lot.

      So long as you enjoyed it, that is enough for me.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, Becky. But I think that when you add your own inflection, it is just as valid. Read it as you wish, and enjoy your own interpretation.

      Anyway, thanks for coming and thank you for your comment.

      This is what the Old Coot sounds like. Ha ha!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Snakeslane, when you remember the film, please let me know. I love movies and anything that is good I want recommended to me.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Ian. I have put this on Facebook to link here. And I have recommended it to two readers that I feel will enjoy this work very much. As I enjoyed it very much.

      I am not qualified to relay to you how good this is.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      You skipped across the stones of spring

      to bring

      these words

      oh, so serene

      hand in hand

      through fields of green

      the sky the blues of June

      you bring us to your

      summer afternoon

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I came by the other night but everyone was asleep and I couldn't listen. It adds so much when we listen to you read this. You add the inflection where you wished it to be and it is so different than I would have read it. This is a beautiful poem.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      There was a love scene in a movie I saw a few years back, been trying to think of it, that your poem reminded me of.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      Good evening Mr Lawns. it must be the middle of the night there.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, Sunnie. At least you knew what to expect when you heard my voice, It us quite familiar to you now, isn't it.

      As I said, though, "The next time, I sing". Yipes!

      x

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Dear Ian,

      This was so beautiful!. The eloquent way in which you read this added so much depth. I loved this very much.

      Thank you my friend,

      Wonderful poem!

      Love,

      Sunnie

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Well I can safely say that I will never sing at Covent Garden or the Met.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      It's more of a bark!

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 6 years ago from Louisiana

      hehe yes i did and qouted it and credited it to you. I change my status daily so sometimes if i read something like that that i really like or relate to i post it as my status. also shared the link to your hub on fb as well. Hahaha if you are any good at singing I'd say go for it! :p

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      You are very welcome. I bet you have a great laugh too.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nikki, before I start, I like your new picture.

      And if you weren't joking (as perhaps you might have been) of course you could use it as your FaceBook status... But someone like you wouldn't need to.

      Watch out! I sing on my next hub (Not reeeaallly)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nikki, before I start, I like your new picture.

      And if you weren't joking (as perhaps you might have been) of course you could use it as your FaceBook status... But someone like you wouldn't need to.

      Watch out! I sing on my next hub (Not reeeaallly)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Wow! Thank you, snakeslane. It does work, doesn't it? Nellieanna really is my mentor. in many ways. She is a lovely person as well as being so very talented herself. And what that woman doesn't know about making her presentations perfect is minuscule, if it exists at all.

      Glad you like the voice... it's a mixture of all sorts of accents, but I like it. That's right, I like the sound of my own voice. Ha ha ha!

      I've had it for quite a long time, now.

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 6 years ago from Louisiana

      beautiful work Ian. I was entranced! such beautiful descriptions and emotions. Like an "I cant live without you" feeling. I loved the ending.

      "And if I would break free, and Lord, I might,

      I’d need to leave my heart, my memory, my mind,

      And all five senses that would be useless ever more,

      For without the person that you are, they’d pine and die

      For want of gazing on you, feeding on your loveliness:

      The sound, the scent, the sight, the touch. The taste

      Of your sweet lips. And if those senses should take leave,

      Then I should surely expire, like them, and be no more." This is going as my facebook status lol

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      Good afternoon Twilight Lawns (morning here, dark and cold brrr, with snow and ice on the porch and a cold blast as I let the excited cats in and out to test their fluffy winter coats). This poetry reading you did via the Tube is such a lovely experience. I've not seen it done before on Hub Pages, but yes, Nellieanna has a nice one on her web page. This really is a break through. Wanted to congratulate you on that. The poem reads well on it's own, but your beautiful voice and style add another dimension. You could be onto something here! Good work!

    • profile image

      writeronline 6 years ago

      What a hoot.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Cryptic? Is that one of those big grown-up words meaning... er... Cryptic?

      Go for it, WOL.

      (Every time I write WOL I am reminded that Owl, in the Winnie the Pooh stories, spells his name "WOL".)

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Haha Thank you for the smile

    • profile image

      writeronline 6 years ago

      Not so much reticent, more reflective, I think. I'm working on a small offering of my own, paused to read this beautifully written (and spoken, but I'm not going there) personal reveal, and now uncertain whether to proceed. If I say "you'll know the topic", - you'll know the topic. (Not as cryptic as it seems).

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, Rosemay, I thought I could hear someone breathing gently just over my shoulder, but when I looked there was just the aura of a lovely person, filamental as a strand of pure silk.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      WOL, thanks for the visit. It is unusual to see reticence in your writing, my friend. May I take that as a complement?

      Ha ha!

      Ian

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      I had to come back again just to listen once more. :-)

    • profile image

      writeronline 6 years ago

      I'm a bit like snakeslane, don't really want to say anything to break the spell cast by your beautiful lyrics, yet do want to show some response, within that same moment.

      Done, I guess.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Wow! You know how to press all the right buttons, Snakeslane. Thank you, and you know as well as I that I didn't really mean it... your sense of humour and mine... Hmm! Two peas in a pod.

      Thanks again for coming for a read (and a listen), I really do appreciate that.

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      Hi Twilight Lawns, I didn't want to spoil the mood of your lovely reading of your lovely poem in your lovely voice, by speaking right at that moment.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thak you snakeslane for your in-depth and scholarly comment...

      Only fooling, I love your poetry and I also know that you don't stand on your chair calling out "Bravo!" to every Tom, Dick or Hilda Plantagenet-Featheringstonehaugh.

      Thanks for coming.

      Ian

    • snakeslane profile image

      Verlie Burroughs 6 years ago from Canada

      Bravo!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      And thank you, Vixysauce, so much for coming to look and to read,

      You have no idea how happy I am to have a new visitor... Please visit again, You are always welcome.

    • vixysauce profile image

      vixysauce 6 years ago

      Amazing thankyou for sharing this beautiful gem

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I write for myself and for friends such as you, Rosemay. So why bother with the contest.

      I'm glad you liked it. I fooled around during the last couple of days, with Nellieanna's encouragement, and made this, my first YouTube video. I was so happy and excited when it worked, and now your lovely comment has made it even more fulfilling for me.

      Thank you.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      This is beautiful. The imagery within your words is so eloquent.

      Nice to see Teddy in there too in his rightful place... :-)

      Voting up all the way except funny.

      Just one question, why have you not tagged 'contest' ?