Poem —  Peter Bland

We call it winter

 

We call it winter, this Northland chill
with its one-bar heater, its woollen cap,
its hint of frost on the roof. But
you have to laugh when you think of Eskimos
crowding round a whale-oil lamp
or freezing gulags in Siberia
or Captain Scott. You have
to be happy that the sun’s up there
hiding behind our long white cloud
and that the light keeps dashing about
like a child playing hide-and-seek.
The view from this bach
has a pared-down charm … small
palms, thin cabbage trees, a few
cold bees. We call it 
winter. We fear the flu. We
curse the latest rise in the rates.
We watch TV and try to work out
why so much death collects on-screen
and comes howling in from somewhere else.

 

 Peter Bland

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