Monday, 25 July 2011

Ode to July

'July fizz-bombs in my mouth...' 'July' - Mundy

Lucky no. 7 July. The summer golden giant, big wheel highpoint, all fireworks and flowers and fun. Independence Day, Bastille day, Marseillaise sounding month. Or as Irish singer Mundy's melancholy/manic lyrics go "oh my my my, oh my my, oh my my my my Julyy...." Much suited to the melancholy misery of a monsoon climate, drowning in rain instead of soaking up sun. (Here in Ireland anyway - help -  sending out a sun SOS!)

I used to be in love with July. Saw it first as a muse and then worthy suitor. Probably due to all that sun and holidays and fireworks and carnivalesque caper. July was the point in the year at the top of the Big Wheel. It was a lucky doubloon found, some golden treasure in the year. Now it's nearly always rain, rain and more rain and hectic with holiday-makers.

July memories, sea-shells lining the shore of the mind that whistle and sing. Like chimes made of silver and bone, soothing and haunting. Days that stick to the memory like sand to bare feet, toe-ensconced. Coconut-scented and carefree. Sun as yellow as hay-bales, as honey, as buttered as popcorn. Mind in a hammock, swinging through scenes. Daisy-calm of dilly-dallying, daydreaming, doing nothing. Diet of ice-cream and outdoor tea-times.
July in full bloom and beautiful. Raspberry-pink, fuchsia pink, and hot-pinks everywhere.  Hanging baskets mapping the horizon. Summer's mascot month.
July and all its turquoise deep-sea dreams. Beach-scavenging, star-fish and sea-shells and mermaid musing. Sea a vista of beckoning blue, nights an echo of blue-sky days. Late nights cool midnight-blue, invitations not endings. Silver and star-filled.
July carnivals. Expectation sticky-sweet like candy-floss on the air. The gold and red of the Big Wheel, wheel of Fortune, spinning out our Fates, wild heights of summer dreaming. Where we step outside who we are in the ringside of the day and leap into the helter-skelter of minds wild with what could be. Imagination invincible.
Swinging to-and-fro glory and grass-rolling and all kinds of little-kid carry-on. Picnics and barefoot beach walks,  Time flip-flopping carelessly along.  Fireworks a fitting homage to the crackling atmosphere, fused and lit in the sparking pink and blue and amber of neon fire. Lucky no.7 July days. Melt-in-your-mouth July days. Bittersweet July, before the spiral slide into September, the looming iron vice of winter. 

At least there's still fireworks though! I love fireworks. How they're metaphorical for so many things. How fleeting and fantastic they are... And how much of a challenge they offer for the writer! Can fireworks be described in words? Sparking, flaring, crackling, fountains of fire, phantasmogoric..... I stutter to try. Last night under an aquamarine-dappled July navy night sky, fuchsia and gold and emerald and violet sparks of fire flared in a fanfare of ...hmm. Not even photographs can capture their fleeting glory. 

But here's a poem which comes close...and I don't think it's talking about hate somehow...more like love. Or maybe how fervent hate is just the flip-side of passionate love.  Heady, heart-fuelled fiery love.  Notice how the language leaps and flames mimicking a  fireworks display brilliantly and how the whole thing just crackles with feeling. Love the colours and images. Enjoy.


*all images used from
'Fireworks' - Amy Lowell  

You hate me and I hate you
And we are so polite, we two!

But whenever I see you, I burst apart
And scatter the sky with my blazing heart.
It spits and sparkles in the stars and balls,
Buds into roses and flares, and falls.    

Scarlet buttons, and pale green disks,
Silver spirals and asterisks,
Shoot and tremble in a mist
Peppered with mauve and amethyst.

I shine in the windows and light up the trees,
And all because I hate you, if you please.

And when you meet me, you rend asunder
And go up in a flaming wonder
Of saffron cubes, and crimson moons,
And wheels all amaranths and maroons.

Golden lozenges and spades
Arrows of malachites and jades,
Patens of copper, azure sheaves.
As you mount, you flash in the glossy leaves.

Such fireworks as we make, we two!
Because you hate me and I hate you.

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