Where Is Winter?

I feel no chill. The trees are still
    as leafy as September.
The last cold spell that I can tell of—
    well, I can’t remember.

Ticks and skeeters, stealthy feeders,
    meet their gluttonous needs,
caterpillars crawl and trillers
    clitter in the weeds,

while warblers sing as if bright spring
    had not advanced to autumn.
Where are the walls of white, the squalls
    that numb a beaver’s bottom?

Bullfrogs boom and dogwoods bloom
    and fiddleheads unfurl
to touch the rays of a star whose blaze
    makes the twisters reel and whirl.

At Baffin Beach, the kittiwakes screech
    above the heedless swimmers.
It’s eighty-five, tomatoes thrive,
    and the Sea of Mayhem shimmers.

Oh, how I lust for a blustery gust,
    cold caterwauling blows.
Oh, how I ache for a feathery flake
    to slalom down my nose!

In all this heat, I face defeat
    by horseflies, gnats, and fleas.
Snow should be falling on insects so galling.
    I want to see them freeze!

When will I hear a blizzard’s clear
    and roaring kettledrum?
It’s February. This is scary.
    Winter, kindly come.


(Appeared in Lighten Up Online)


Regina's picture
Very thought provoking and well written, Miles. We're having an up and down winter. Cold one day, then in the fifties or sixties the same week. I saw creeping phlox blooms last week. Best Wishes for the contest. ~


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Miles T. Ranter's picture
Many thanks, Regina. I live in New England and we've also had a lot of fluctuation in temperature. Not as many snowstorms as some years, though it's still winter, and the game ain't over till it's over! But this poem, of course, is more about what the climate might be like in say 50 years or maybe 100.

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Elisadella's picture
This is brilliant. And I was thinking the same thing as I carried my umbrella yesterday as I walked out the door with 66° temperatures. My neighbors daffodils are up as well as my grape hyacinth. This is timely and so well written. I love mild winters but climate change is not cool (no pun intended)

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Miles T. Ranter's picture
Thanks, Elisa. It's nice you're living in a relatively warm latitude (warmer than where I live). I haven't seen any daffodils or hyacinth, that's for sure! Not yet. Maybe in a couple of months. You are right about climate change — it's not cool!

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