Sun spots

For the dverse prompt—pepper


Salty air hangs heavy in the heat,

water sparkles with savagery,

and in bright pools of sun,

peppered with creeping life,

starlings peck and prod.


Heat beats down,

a musty blanket,

full of dust motes flying,

trying to escape.


I watch the river evaporate.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

87 thoughts on “Sun spots”

  1. I hadn’t thought of the river evaporating before, but I suspect some of the water does enter the atmosphere with heat although a lot goes to the ocean. I liked the dust motes trying to escape from drowning in the river if I understood it correctly.

    1. They could have been escaping from drowning, or more generally just smothering beneath the heat. It’s so hot today I really did wonder what was stopping the river just disappearing in a hiss of steam 🙂

    1. Thank you! The heat is fierce today and we know how little protection we have from the sun’s rays. Magnified by the water, glass, metallic surfaces, it feels quite frightening.

  2. So intense, Jane. I like the way you used peppered–but along with salty. Nice touch! 🙂
    I hope it cools off for you. No dry heat here. It’s hot and humid with severe thunderstorms expected later.

    1. You know something, I hadn’t even noticed the salt and pepper thing. Shows what an attentive reader you are! Sultry heat is too much. I think ours is fairly dry despite being close to the ocean. The ‘weather’ comes up from Africa which is pretty dry 🙂

      1. That’s so funny you didn’t notice the salt and pepper. I thought it was deliberate. 🙂 We’ve had some beautiful days and nights lately, but then we get the humid, icky stuff, too.

  3. I love the way you’ve incorporated salt with pepper, Jane! The opening lines are so vivid with sparkling salty water and sunshine, which turn into muggy heat in stanza two – it describes just how I felt this afternoon:
    ‘Heat beats down,
    a musty blanket’
    and then the reminder of what heat can do in the final line.

    1. We weren’t expecting 38°C. The forecast was for hot but not quite so hot. We’re getting the same tomorrow and slightly hotter on Wednesday. The river might not make it to the end of the week!

  4. This brought to mind the reality of last year, after 5 years of drought, as I watched the Truckee River, a block from me evaporate to a trickle. Now, after a year of overly-abundant precipitation, it is roaring.

    1. We never have your extremes. But it does get hot here in summer, over 100°F today and it’s going to get hotter by mid week. Too hot for June. Of course, climate change is a myth…

  5. “water sparkles with savagery” … This is my favorite line, especially how it ties in with the last line.

    1. I’ve been watching this year’s clutch of starling chicks grow, and when you see how they behave, like obnoxious, demanding brats, it’s not surprising they grow up to be noisy brawlers. 🙂

  6. My eyes got blazed from the poem. I like how the aquatic lives and the aerial world were connected by the evaporation. I didn’t see it coming, but when I did, it felt naturally complete. Anyway, do stay hydrated in this heat!

    1. Thanks Colin 🙂 Everything is connected, whatever Trump and his flat earth brigade say. All connected and affected by the elements and our manipulation of nature. We’re drinking what we can before it all evaporates 🙂

      1. You’re right, Jane. And, environmental consequences aside, it was an utter disregard of democracy. I’m nevertheless hopeful to see the Climate Alliance is garnering momentum. Time will prove who’s right … though the river may not be waiting that long.

      2. That is the problem. If we have to wait for the White House to be washed away by a tsunami before the most powerful (and most idiotic) world leader takes notice, it will be too late.

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