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Monday, October 10, 2011

For Real Toads—changes in a season


Today, on Open Link Monday at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Kerry asks us to consider poems with or about seasonal changes.

She says: "This post is an open invitation to share any piece of writing, either as new as Spring leaves or old as Winter wind. If you have something which deals with the seasons or life changes, all the better, but this is not essential."

I couldn't resist "old as Winter wind" and came up with the following response to this week's challenge. I really didn't mean to rhyme any of it, somehow it just happened that way, automatic reflex of an old-time poet, I guess.

  CONSIDER THE BRAVE CHINOOK  

the winds of winter
blow across the prairie
bringing snow with them, and ice—
but suddenly
at midnight
a surprise—
if you’re awake,
you can see
the temperature rise.
degree by steady
upward degree,
the thermometer doesn’t lie.
chinook winds,
prairie winds,
blessing or disguise?
does warmth awaken
sleeping seeds?
false spring in December?

© Kay Davies, October, 2011

Like most people in western Canada, I had heard about the prairie and its winter chinooks when I lived in BC, but I must admit I pooh-poohed the idea, no matter how close the friend who assured me it was true. "Yeah, but..." still lingered in my mind when I moved to Alberta in 2001. Then we moved into this house, with its indoor/outdoor thermometer. That first winter, I was astonished to watch the outside temperature rise while standing in our kitchen. When it stopped going up and up and up, we went out onto the porch, where I found out it was, indeed, true.

7 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

How interesting this is.. I love the name 'chinook' - brings to mind the far Canadian plains, and a lot of open country. Lovely piece, Kay.

Christine said...

if you ever get tired of the chinooks, come live in Manitoba, just for the month of February, you'll RUN back to those nice warm temps, I was not born to live in such cold climate, counting down the days until spring now :(

Reflections said...

Its quite unique to experience these particular areas by belie the ordinary temperature patterns for any given area. I have friends who live in Southern Oregon, out in the country. They live in a valley where they seem to have their own climate, apart from the entire surrounding areas.

turtlememoir said...

I remember those chinooks from when I lived in Calgary - I always liked these mini-springs...
Your poem is lovely, describes the phenomenon well.

Laurie Kolp said...

Wow- that's amazing. Sometimes the weather changes that fast in TX, too. One time I was at a football game that started boiling hot and sunny, went to pouring rain and then dropped thirty or more degrees.

Marian said...

huh! i too love the word chinook.
signed, Enjoying Indian Summer Here In New England.

Mike Patrick said...

Thank you for the education on the chinook winds. Here in the St. Louis area of the Mid West, we have a saying: If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute.