Heat Wave. Friday December 18th, by Richard Carpenter

Yesterday, a thin grey-blue sky, with wispy cloud,

leading to a starlit night, meant you listened

for the gritter to rumble up and down the road

with a cloud of salty sand settling on the tarmac.

The only reason you’re not dashing out,

 

to plant your tender seedlings, is we’re three

days shy of the shortest day when there’ll be

five degrees of frost to freeze brass monkeys

and turn any self respecting seedling black.

The roller-coaster ride of temperature will

 

take us back to icy ponds, and allow the plants

their yearly rest. You might soon have some early

snowdrops in a sheltered spot, and those small,

simple, croci – blue with orange throats – growing

in your lawn. Just leave the grass long –

 

the seed will spread an early spring invasion.

Don’t be fooled by a day that has the shoppers

all in T shirts as they hunt for bargains to fill the

kiddies’ stockings. We’ve turned up the thermostat

but the season may soon settle to its rhythm.

 

This morning wears a pale pink sky, a gentle

shepherd’s warning to not be fooled by a brief

rise in temperature. So, when you walk your dog,

remember to take your coat and scarf, a woolly hat,

and tuck your fleece gloves ready in your pocket.

 

Yesterday, a thin grey-blue sky, with wispy cloud,

leading to a starlit night, meant you listened

for the gritter to rumble up and down the road

with a cloud of salty sand settling on the tarmac.

The only reason you’re not dashing out,

 

to plant your tender seedlings, is we’re three

days shy of the shortest day when there’ll be

five degrees of frost to freeze brass monkeys

and turn any self respecting seedling black.

The roller-coaster ride of temperature will

 

take us back to icy ponds, and allow the plants

their yearly rest. You might soon have some early

snowdrops in a sheltered spot, and those small,

simple, croci – blue with orange throats – growing

in your lawn. Just leave the grass long –

 

the seed will spread an early spring invasion.

Don’t be fooled by a day that has the shoppers

all in T shirts as they hunt for bargains to fill the

kiddie’s stockings. We’ve turned up the thermostat

but the season may soon settle to its rhythm.

 

This morning wears a pale pink sky, a gentle

shepherd’s warning to not be fooled by a brief

rise in temperature. So, when you walk your dog,

remember to take your coat and scarf, a wooly hat,

and tuck your fleece gloves ready in your pocket.

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