Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer and Winter

Summer and Winter

The women of the winter’s lands and the women of the summer’s
Had gathered once to sing and dance to strings and flutes and drummers.
And one remarked how nice it was that winter had departed,
To which another then replied, she hated more the summers.
And others joined, as arguments on seasons’ merits started.

But one of them, who’d lived in both the regions that are heated
And those more often frozen, said, “The summers there are feted,
Where winter’s cold is bitter and the winter’s stay is long.
But summers there are hated, where, by June, we've been defeated,
So the rains, that end the summer’s heat, we greet with dance and song.”

Another, who had also known the polar and the tropic,
Arose and spoke with passion then upon this very topic.
“In places where the cloudy days are greeted with relief,
There winter is a season mild.  But where we all are phobic
Of winters that are long and harsh, there summers salve our grief.
“The arcing blue, the grays and whites of clouds whose edges glow,
The light upon the leaves that pointillism tried to show,
The shades of green, the sun and shade, the flowers in the breeze—
A summer, in a temperate zone, is all of these and more—
A passing dream of languor, lulling wearied souls to ease.

“The pores of skin are opened that in seasons past were closed.
The heat’s a suitor’s question.  The perspiration flows,
For that’s the body’s answer, as vessels tensed dilate.
“The summer is a cleansing.” a poet once proposed.
“It’s even more a coupling.” say the ones insatiate.
“As the rains are to the summer, in the heated tropic lands,
So the spring and then the summer are, to her, who understands
The moods of all the seasons where the winter’s reign is long.
The summer’s then her lover, and a lover makes demands,
As is known to those who revel when the rains are lashing strong.
“When fields are parched and dusty and the sun’s a blinding flame,
When all the land is thirsty and the jackal’s limping lame,
Then there, on the horizon, the wall of dark appears.
There’s thunder and there’s lightning, and the girls who’ve lost their shame
Are dancing, for it’s raining, as the gods throw down their spears.

“More gently comes the vernal, like a lover’s soft caress,
To the land that bore the winter’s yoke and groaned in its distress.
And summer, to that region, comes and stays for just a while,
And yet receives a welcome that is heartfelt, nonetheless,
For even when he’s left us—from his kisses, still, we smile.”

And when she finished speaking, the others laughed out loud.
For they had seen, inverted, what seasons were about.
“It’s time,” said one, “for dancing!”  And so began their dance.
And “Is it for the summer,” one could ask that swaying crowd,
“Or is it for the winter?” And the answer would be, “Dance!”
2015 July 22nd, Wed., 8:47 pm
Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York 

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