Summer and winter

Winter feels coldest
When everyone else is
Enjoying summer.

They bask, relaxed on
life’s green lawns, full of summer.
Joy warming their bones.

Blanketed, I shrink.
Sipping comforting hot tea
Waiting for the sun.

This is partly a reflection on what it’s like to keep being prompted to write poems about summer in the southern hemisphere’s winter. It’s also partly a reflection on how other people’s happiness looks when we’re going through more difficult times. Each verse is a senryu/haiku, and while they work together I’ve written them so they can also stand alone.

(I wrote another set of haiku contrasting summer and winter quite some time ago – in rather a different mood!)

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10 responses to “Summer and winter

  1. I like that hot tea image in the last one!

    The form suits this very well.

  2. The haiku set’s layout is so inviting to read.

    While we shrivel in the sun, you shrink under the blanket. Simple and thoughtful, love it.

    I think the grass is always greener on the other side of the hemisphere, really.

  3. i like the concept of using the hemispheric seasonal differences as a metaphor for that feeling of being bummed when everyone else is in a celebratory space! good way to work in your response to a prompt in with the writing itself!

  4. A play of seasons and a sunshine soul waits. I enjoyed your poem. My daughter and granddaughter have come for a visit to the states. They live outside Havelock in New Zealand. She is taking back a prize possession, a good ole Southern tan. I let her read your poem, she said, “South Island for sure.” Thank you for the comment on “July Girl”. Regards, DCH

  5. These are all wonderful, but I loved the first best. It says so much about loneliness, isolation and pain. Beautiful.

  6. “They bask, relaxed on/life’s green lawns…” –great music here. And each stanza really can stand on its own. I enjoyed this.

  7. Yeah, I like these. The last one sounds like an English summer.

  8. I enjoyed this series, specially the last one

  9. love the sense of distance writing… as if pausing in reflection… a blanket, hot tea what else is there?

  10. Thanks for all your comments!

    In some ways this reminds me of the king with the ring that says “this too will pass” – that makes him happy when he’s sad and sad when he’s happy.

    The seasons change, and our lives change too…

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