It is warm here,
Open blue sky,
Not a cloud on the horizon.
The summer never ends in this place.

But I carry the winter of my homeland in my heart.
The heavy snow falls in the forest of my dreams.
Icicles cling to the eves of my childhood dwelling and
Glaze the trees with their faerie touch;
The winds are icy gorgons which moan unceasingly.
The air is alive with swirling flakes.

I huddle down in my winter coat,
A scarf wrapped around my face,
A hat perched unglamorously on my head.
Hiking boots treading cautiously over frost-coated clay.
This is my world;
Forest of wind and snow,
Silent except for my thoughts,
And the lament of the polar spirits.
I sit upon a fallen log and shake the ice from my gloves.
They are cold, and the wetness of melted snow
Makes them uncomforting to wear.

Ah my home... this is how I remember you.
Not in the humid hothouse of summer,
But the barren chill of sleet and rain.
Truly, you have made me in your image, my homeland,
For even in the dry heat of cloudless climes,
I am like the naked oak, shorn of its leaves;
I am old before my time and this heart of mine knows only
The songs of solitude.

George Chadderdon © 1995