Thursday, November 28, 2013

Winter’s Fury

Winter’s Fury
In tropic climes, the sun, ascendant,
Rules the summer with its heat.
Rains are welcomed.  Winter braces,
Brings a brief relief that's sweet.

But, in climates that are polar,
Summer’s cherished, and the spring
Is awaited through the winter.
And, with autumn, sun takes wing.

Here, by the cold Atlantic seaboard,
Autumn came, with its slanting sun,
Painted the trees in many colors,
Left, of a sudden, on the run…

Now winter comes with all its fury,
With banshee winds that howl at night,
For autumn’s left – and taken with it
Remnant warmth and fading light.

The sun, defeated, feeble, arches
Low above horizon south.
The birds have fled – and squirrels sleep,
As blizzards blow from winter’s mouth.

Season grim, of cold and darkness,
Stripping broad-leaved plants of life,
Comes – and many flee before it.
Others hide from winds that knife.

If springtime be the time for courting
And summer be the consummation,
Then autumn is the time for parting
And winter then is desolation.

So winter comes, like death and taxes,
Season dread, of dark and cold.
And some have strength enough to bear it,
But not the sick or weak and old.

The ones with clothes enough can venture
Out and brave the winds that freeze.
And some have heated homes of comfort
But what brings poor and homeless ease?

For some had slept on subway gratings,
Cardboard-covered, shivering, wet.
But now the councils curve the gratings,
So ease can only come with death.
First, the pain in the nose and fingers,
Then, the numbness that foretells
Loss, from freezing, of those members.
So does winter work its hells.
Soldiers  fought and died in winters,
Frozen hard in fields of gore.
Others, who were prisoners, suffered,
Frozen till they were no more.

From the lands of cold and darkness,
Came the hordes – to lands of sun,
Slaughtered, robbed and raped and plundered.
So the south and west were won.

So the Arya, Hun and Mongol,
So the settler with his gun,
So the ruthless armies marching,
With the locals on the run...

But those, who tried, in vain, to conquer
Northern lands – or those on high,
They were fated, by that winter,
To, defeated, freeze and die.

So the French and Germans perished
As the Russian winter blew.
So the British, in the Afghan
Highlands, paid their venture’s dues.

Humans, born from ape ancestors,
Still can’t live in freezing climes,
Not without the dense apparel,
Learned in Neanderthal times.

Who can deal with winter’s fury,
Save the one, who’s winter’s child?
He survives – but not the stranger,
Ventured north from climates mild.

2013 November 28th, Thu.
(Last Thursday in November, Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.A.)
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York

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