image copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino
image copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

[Poetry bloggers can find the weekly reads superbly rounded up by Buffy Silverman.]

Our family of the North hopes for 80 degree days &
cools off with 50 degree nites.

But here in Florida we blister now until, October to early November.
A dear pal transplanted to Florida is not only under the sun, but also, gloriously pregnant. So for encouragement I scratched the memory of my own summer pregnancy days and thought of cool ways.


Teach family/friends to avoid speaking these words or their various iterations near you –


Forget that you like spicy food


Pop into your mouth –
washed individual grapes, spaced apart on a tray, covered, from freezer
same with frozen melon balls, any color; blueberries; ice slivers

A cold salad meal every day or several times in one day isn’t overdoing it

Baked/broiled/cooked foods can taste fantastic cold – steak in salad, for example, shrimp in salad, chicken in…

Move perfume/cologne stick to the fridge for impulsive wrist & ankle rubs

Keep a soft washcloth & small towel in a plastic bag in the fridge

Walk barefoot or watershoe-footed in water – the sea shore, lake shore, splash fountain, creek, pool

Walk on cool grass & in the shade of grandmother trees

Seek the outdoors in early a.m. & in the p.m.

Adore full moonlight & accomplish outdoors work during it

Adore the evening

Embrace linen without a worry about wrinkles – every breeze passes right through it

Before entering a parked vehicle, it should be prepared – windows down, A/C running a blast, dashboard fan on & towel on seat so you don’t stick

Sidewalks, pathways & roads are for walking in the evening

Keep 2 kiddie pools in the backyard – one for little ones & one for

Find books that bring you into the cool – GOING TO EXTREMES, COMING INTO THE COUNTRY…

Floating on your back in an expanse of cool should be the cardinal rule

images copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino
images copyright all rights reserved Jan Godown Annino

by Jan Godown Annino

Eyes closed
Face up

Water buoys beyond sun shafts

A womb of wet
Where have I gone?

Afloat in an ocean
Drifting in a pond
Lazing on a lake

Am I also somewhere else?

Free of Fahrenheits
Feeling more like me
I am the queen of cool

And what about hats you may say.
Patience to read this far is rewarded with the best.
Thinking of sun hats I felt an old memory linking hats to E.B. White.
Sure enough when I pulled a collection down from the shelf, I found a marker for a summer poem.
These lines excerpted are from “A Father Does His Best,”
connecting summer sizzle, E.B. White & hats.

When this stanza begins, the narrator is at Lord & Taylor & later will visit other emporiums.

“A Father Does His Best”
by E. B. White

Said I to Lord & Taylor:
“Hot are the summer skies
And my son Joe would like to go
In a big straw hat in the year-old size
Have you got such a thing for, for summer skies,
A nice straw hat in the year-old size?
Said Lord & Taylor: “No.”
copyright E.B. White, all rights reserved

excerpted from p. 73, “A Father Does His Best”
in POEMS & SKETCHES of E. B. White



29 responses to “Sizzle”

  1. We live in Seattle precisely because I could never figure out how to stay cool in California – I sure could have used these tips! Think I will print them up and use them later (August?) for the few days it gets uncomfortably hot here (when you’re not acclimated to the heat, you can be sweltering at 85 degrees.) Thanks, Jan – and thanks, too, for your lovely poem about floating. And for the E.B. White – I have to get that one down off my shelf again and re-read.


  2. I love “Free of Fahrenheits
    Feeling more like me”
    Mesmerizing poem!

    I was born in raised in Florida, and I hate hot weather. Have been happily living in MN for almost 25 years:>) (Though the summers are still too hot here)


  3. Those are all excellent methods of cooling. I had one child in October, and that summer was blistering, even up here. It was in the 90s into October. I have a kiddie pool for me, too, even now. A small one of the deck that I fill up with cold hose water in the morning, and I just stand in it while I watch the kids play. And I have a little handheld squirty bottle with a fan attached, and it’s the best!! I love EB White’s poem. So adorable.


  4. Your list works well for anyone, pregnant or not, living in Louisiana in the summer. My favorite is watermelon. I buy it already cut and each chunks when I’m hot. Iced mint tea with lemon is a must, too. My youngest was born in September. Luckily my mother in law has a pool so we spent the summer there.
    I love your manatee picture. They are such peaceful creatures, like sloths of the sea.


  5. I enjoyed your poem Floating and always like E B White. Thanks for the great photos. At least in Tucson we have dry heat and everything is air conditioned.


  6. I’ll have to keep all those great tips in mind when things get hot and steamy around here. Love those cool images in your poem, floating on water . . .


  7. Love this image: “Walk on cool grass & in the shade of grandmother trees.” These recommendations for cool form their own poem! And I love the play with opposites in White’s line “In a big straw hat in the year-old size.”


  8. I can SO relate to this post, Jan! While we didn’t move to Florida until fairly recently, my son was born in the NM summer, and my daughter in the summer down under! Love “Floating”– especially that last stanza… “Free of Fahrenheits” and “the queen of cool.” 🙂


  9. This week summer has been announced, and my air conditioning is running, but I like the ‘cool’ ideas you shared, that linen-allowing breezes and frozen melon balls are just right. The poem by E.B. White is wonderful, will look for it in some of my anthologies. Thanks, Jan.


    • Glad you are simpatico with that E.B. White hat poem.
      And hope the cooling tricks don’t have to be used too often this glorious summer.
      We are traveling & when untraveled, I’m eager to visit your PF article & see so many others, too.


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