The wrong winter

I wish for a winter walk.

Not the cool, clear, sun-burning walk of the blue skied South,
but the bladder tightening winter of the North, where..

Blood brambles through hedgerowed fingers pricked with frost,
leaves crack, twigs snap, echoing the rise and fall of brittle bone,
as each breath smokes numb, chill-toed warnings.

Branches, sparse stage, for a frugal Robin’s
solitary song of seasonal poverty,
bow humble, unlike..

Proud Ponga, warrior Nikau – always fully robed,
leaving me.. ever-green for a British winter.

Ponga: New Zealand tree fern; Nikau: New Zealand’s only endemic palm tree. This poem can be read in conjunction with Foreign Fern’s English Frost


35 thoughts on “The wrong winter

    • It fits. Beautifully:
      I’m sure it is not everybody’s wish that their botanical heritage gets shipped off to unsuitable climes.
      Or any foreign climes, for that matter.
      I’m wearing ear defenders against the neighbour’s thundering lawnmower. Pity there is no such defence against the stink of their unserviced motor.
      I’ll come back later to listen to your commanding voice.

  1. a seasonal poverty…i like that…and the brittle bones of winter…bladder tightening and all…ha….well constructed piece…very tactile at points and like the sounds that come from it easily…interesting for sure…smiles.

  2. Fantastic, the descriptions so vivid…you know I’ve never experienced the bitter winter you long for.. living in Queensland we get a freshness too… Just realised I tell a lie, I remember going to the snow in school…that was bitter but I would be keen to do it again. Wonderful poem!

    • Although Auckland has a winter, it just doesn’t have the sharpness I used to experience in the UK. I much prefer the temperate climate, but just on odd days I miss that crispness.

  3. Having lived in northern hemisphere winter I cannot tell you how delightful I find the magnificent blue winter sky and fresh breeze of the Southern Cross land.I do not miss the snow and can never ever have enough sunshine mangoes or palm trees:)

  4. A wonderfully descriptive and evocative poem. I do think it fits beautifully as the inclination for the winter is fleeting or unlikely to be acted upon. I live atop a mountain where we received a foot of snow last week. Spring is not yet arrived.

  5. Perhaps we need to feel the distinct 4 seasons to be in tune with nature at her best;;;crisp winters, hot summers, pleasant springtimes, and rustic fall…..if I were to live where there was not much variety I would miss so much I think….splendidly written.

    • I certainly like to be kept warm, and much prefer the warmer climate of Auckland, but there is something substantial about experiencing a really cold winter.

  6. And I wish and welcome warmth. I find it so fascinating to be reminded of how upside down our worlds are…in many ways. This is beautifully written, Rowan, with wonderful description.

  7. Lovely to hear you read it. Your description vividly conjures what you long for and I hope never t experience! (Hate the cold.) But you made me see what attracts you.

  8. the bladder tightening winter of the North

    Gosh, this is an interesting concept. I can feel the coldness of shrinkage of self. Nicely Rowan!


  9. The two of us are standing here, listening and reading this, and we are both agreed your work is exceptional. Gave us goosebumps.
    The way you mix up the components within the lines and then they fall into place in our mind. Fantastic.
    Have a good time in blighty, although the weather doesn’t seem to be improving.

    • Oh thank you so very much Aprille. It is such a compliment to think you returned for more. My first visit is Rotterdam (leave on Monday morning), so I’ll probably miss the next couple of Dverse linkins. Thanks again 😄

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