It’s first of sweaty, sweltering daybreaks
of summer new. The fewer trailing steps
of parting spring are still moist-fresh with drakes’
claw prints and redolent green pollen specks.

The waters in the troughs and dew on leaves
bid their tearful adieus with vapour-hands
looking athwart through narrow foliar sieves
at the nascent Sun attired in ruddy bands.

The cuckoos hanged billboards: ‘No more concerts’
outside their roosts. As breeze became simoom*
blowing across small huts to tall turrets
the hiccupping earth gazed at her yonder groom.

I looked out once and stepped onto the road.
Be Sun or Moon I have errands a load!

*Simoom: n. A strong, hot, sand-laden wind of Asian and Arabian Deserts. Also called samiel.


Once an advocate, Sathya Narayana joined the Government of India as Inspector of Salt in 1984 and received two service promotions. In May 2014, he took voluntary retirement as Superintendent of Salt.

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13 Responses

  1. Leonard Dabydeen

    A splendidly beautiful sonnet to mark the arrival of summer! True to thyself, ‘Be Sun or Moon I [you] errands a load!’ Sathya Bhai. And the picture is awesome!

  2. Sally Cook

    You are one of a dwindling number of poets who truly understands the interactions of planets, wind, and all aspects of nature. Thank you.

  3. C.B. Anderson

    This was a very slant look at the world, rather entrancing, I would add. But the first line of the third stanza ends with an apostrophe, and I want to know why this is.

  4. Rajendra Singh

    A delightful poem describing change of season in a romantic way. Billboard “No more concerts” is a nice way of saying an unpleasant thing with a humourous vein refleting the positive mindset of the poet.
    Last line reminds us of
    “The woods are lovely dark and deep
    But I have promuses to keep And miles to go before I sleep” lines from Robert Frost’s poem “Stoppin by the Woods on a Snow Evening”.

  5. Annapurna Sharma

    Have excellently captured the summer in your verse. Particularly liked the billboards – no more concerts and the realistic last line – sun/moon, loads of errands. Enjoyed the read Sathya sir.

  6. Sathyanarayana

    Thank you all for the wonderful comments. As Rajendra Singh Thakur ji observed this poem was inspired by Robert Frost’s …Snowy Evening. I have a feeling that Frost intended a sonnet in the beginning, composed it with 3 quatrains ending with a couplet. But I guess the last beautiful line ‘And miles to go before I sleep’ must have flashed in his mind and teased him to add to the already created sonnet in iambic tetra meter. See…all the last 4 lines aren’t a quatrain but two couplets. Of course this is my wild guess.


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