Culture Life People Poems

Summer love

Written by Paul Bateman

Melbourne, Australia, 2021-22

I fell across the line last year, exhausted and dispirited.
Sustained ill-health and a world on edge
Combined to leave me blunted.
I felt vulnerable and weakened –
A wounded creature in an open field
Exposed to every danger.

I struggled to assert myself.
I lacked the energy and certainty to defend my needs or state my case.
This heightened my sensitivity to those who imposed their views on me
As though I were an empty bucket to be filled with their excretions.

The most belligerent opinions were always the most freely shared,
Broadcast at high volume without shame or reservation.
I felt myself imploding, unable to respond.
I sat in non-committal silence, complicit and diminished.

I took a break over Christmas and into the New Year.
If anybody asked me how I hoped to spend my time,
This is what I told them:
I want a long, even summer.
I want to move at ease from room to room
In the house I share with my gracious wife,
Every door and window open
Sunshine in the yard.     

And so it came to pass:
A stunning Melbourne summer;
A serene, extended season of bright, warm days and tranquil nights
That roused me from despondency and renewed my optimism.

Summer light and summer warmth
Awoke in me a dormant self:
A sensuous and simple self;
An elemental being.

I gave myself to sand and sea,
Surrendered thought to skin.
And so replenished and restored
I found my voice again.

We turned the clocks back, last weekend;
There are colder months ahead.
To the summer that has been and gone
My thanks and deep respect.

About the author

Paul Bateman

I'm a writer from Melbourne, Australia. I write about life as I find it. In doing so, I hope to offer something real. I write, too, about wine at


  • From corrosion to comfort, Paul. The water, it just keeps beckoning. (Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, especially. With snorkel.)

  • How I love
    ‘I gave myself to sand and sea,
    Surrendered thought to skin.’
    I feel I can bask in that notion.
    Thanks for your words once more Paul,
    and all the intentional living they arise from.

  • A beautifully written account of how the seasons and nature can restore us. It seems Melbourne knew what its people needed and supplied it! TX for sharing Paul, I am glad your voice is back. Once again heartened by some insightful writing that provokes insights and gives me something to think about too. We just put our clocks forward and I am looking forward to a restorative spring! Best wishes, Bronte

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