Describing Summer   Leave a comment

This is a Level 3 sample from my new book ‘Writing with Stardust’, now on Amazon. It comes in 5 Levels, from beginner to advanced, and there is a spelling workbook also. It is the ultimate descriptive guide for students and teachers. I hope you enjoy the post.




  1. The night sky was heather-purple. COLOUR
  2. Humming bees darted through the air. BEE MUSIC
  3. The stars were glittering like scattered space dust. METAPHORS FOR THE SUN
  4. The beaked chorus of birds filled the air. THE DAWN CHORUS
  5. The edible ceps looked like shiny penny buns. EDIBLE FOODS
  6. Clouds were latched to the unending sky. THE SWEEP OF SKY
  7. The afternoon sky was cocktail-blue. THE BRIGHTEST BLUES
  8. The grass was downy soft. SENSATION
  9. A stew of smells filled the air. SMELL
  10. The summer food was gelatin sweet. TASTE







The night sky was juniper-purple. The sound of intoning bees filled the air. The stars were glowing like beacons for the lost souls of the world. A feathered medley echoed through the trees. The garlic smell of ramsons drifted through the air. The clouds were bracketed to the eternal, summer sky. It was like a dome of solar blue. The grass was silk soft. A broth of smells swirled around me. The food we ate was honeysuckle sweet.


                                     LEVEL 3: CREATIVE PARAGRAPHS

An amethyst-purple tint invades the late summer skies. The world is changing and autumn is approaching. Soon the land will be a-fire in the warm glow of tree-flame. Pagan rituals such as Hallowe’en will bring back long dead memories of trolls, spooks and hobgoblins.

For now, however, the fields are still Elysium-green. Bees are still murmuring in that strange cult hum exclusive to them. They flit from flower to flower, surfing the short spaces as they go. The stars are summer stars, flickering like pulsing lodestars. A sol-fa of song erupts as they fade away, the ancient alchemy of the dawn chorus.

Bilberries and chanterelles adorn the forest floor, questing for sunlight. The perpetual skies of summer are buckled with clouds and they flare up in a luminous, neon-blue when the mood takes them. Summer is nature’s treasure trove. The fields are laden with goldenrod-yellow flowers and silver-washed fritillaries carry their bushels of pollen carefully. A goulash of scents twirls above the satin soft petals and the pear sweet taste of the air is a blessed joy.

But summer brings with it a bitter twist. The nights are closing in on each other and the long days are faltering. Enjoy the beaches, the barbecues and the birds. In a few short months, all will be cold.



Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink. I am doomed.

The wooden planks of flotsam I have cobbled together after the shipwreck are coming loose. I am sitting on a floating coffin with makeshift oars. It’s like Satan’s sauna out here in this big, blue tomb. The emptiness in my soul matches the spiritless sky and the featureless waterscape around me.

The days are the worst. The remorseless sun bends his full will against my survival and he is winning. I feel like I have been stabbed by a million sun spears. My blood simmers, my brain stews, and even my bones seem to smoulder in their meaty carcass. Dead man drifting. That’s who I am. I am floundering in a sea of divine-blue quicklime and there’s no escape. My tongue feels like a slab of lead, cloven to the roof of my mouth. My throat is parched and my lips are chapped and flaky. Only a god could save me now.

Below the surface, huge shapes glide. Their fins break the surface like steel triangles, leaving barely a ripple. They circle and circle, constantly searching for weakness. They have followed me for three days and nights, cruel and cunning as they are. The knife fixed to the end of the oar can only keep them at bay for so long.

The tides are the mistress of the sea. They dictate the level of wind necessary for my forward movement. No tides, no wind, no survive. That’s why I hate the nights. A vast shroud of Barabbas –black fills the abyss of sky above. The wind dies down as the eerie, spectral moon appears. It casts down splinters of Solomon-gold, making the sea crests sparkle like elf-light. It is merely an illusion of beauty. I can see the full glitter of their beady eyes and the flash of their scalpel sharp teeth as they grin at me. The only sounds to keep me company are the sigh of wind, the slap of oar and the slosh of wave. The leavening sea is my enemy. It is as cold as a ghoul’s soul and my teeth are rattling and chattering. The haunting cheep-cheep of a passing tern reminds me how powerless I really am. Even he can go home. The stink of a thousand seas surrounds me. It is a mix of rotting kelp and dying fish. It assaults my nostrils and steals my hope.

But lo! There’s a huge magma-red light in the distance. I am rocked by a huge wave which pushes me towards the light. All the gods are with me. My name is Lucius Andropedus. I am a fisherman from Pompeii and I am lost at sea. It is The Year of Our Lord 79 A.D, somewhere off the coast of Italy, and I am saved.



The cliff we stood on seemed as old as Abraham. Far below, the hungry sea gnawed at its ankle.

Someone once said that paradise is where seagulls are flying beneath your feet. They were arcing and wheeling between the witchcraft of the morning light. An occasional scream would echo from the cliffs, eerie and resonating. The immense vista leading to the horizon was jaw dropping. The Prussian-blue vault of velvet above seemed to solder into the liquid blanket of silver beneath. Far out to sea, a solitary cormorant, sleek wings a-flurry, streaked out to the place where sea and sky melt into each other and was lost from sight.

The slurpy slapping of the sea was muted, a metronomic murmur. The waves were merely snoozing, sluggish and slumbering in their liquid robes. They dribbled up to the beach of the sheltered cove, then shuddered and drizzled their sea spray onto its surface, whisking the stones before releasing. A current of cold electricity passed through the air. We shivered. The wind whipped up. The sea simmered.

Sloshing, swollen to its confined depths, its cavernous bowels stirred, a growling from the fathoms. Suddenly, stone dashed sand teemed as the sea hissed, washed, polished, and lashed the pebbles before sloshing back. It hissed, slipped, dashed the sand and released; fizzed, spit, seethed the beach and released: sizzed, slapped, swished the stones and released.

The mesmeric beauty of its beat was heart-swelling. We realized then that the sea was its own master, kindling its own symphony. It hadn’t finished its song yet, however. The wind, the midwife of the seas, served a different master and whipped it into a frenzy.

The echo of a raspy rumbling from the enraged sea came to us, a tremulousness to fear. The waves were really sloshing, slurping and slobbering with their salty lips. They pounded into the cliff of the sheltered cove, then paused and pounced with malice onto its ankle, slamming the rock before releasing. A rumour of its malevolence passed through our legs. We shivered. The wind died down. The sea bubbled. Trembling, throbbing to its rotten beat, its malicious soul stirred, a warning from the ages. Suddenly, rip-tide rolls heaved as the sea foamed, crashed, pounded and bashed the cliff-foot before sloshing back. It foamed and frothed, plunged down hard and pummelled the hated cliffs; it lathered and lacerated, bucked waves and buckled itself; it smacked and smashed, surging waves and expunging its awful rage.

Its hissy fit over, it swelled once more, juddered and was still.



For much more of the above, please check out my book  Writing with Stardust which is now available on Amazon. You can also click any of the book images below.












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