A poem for true denizens of the temperate zone–“The Comfort of Dread”

Oh, if only it were always summer!  But then, perhaps if it were, we wouldn’t appreciate it, so goes the temperate zone dweller’s argument.  The last winter (winter 2017-18) was so severe here in the American Northeast, however, and lasted so long into Spring that one shivers in advance, even at the end of July, especially when we’re already having (and have never stopped having) storms and rain and yucky skies.  Right now, though, I can afford to be a bit blasé, perhaps, at least enough to write a poem on the topic which is not totally despairing.  It does perhaps have one of those human contradictions in it that we often run across when listening to people discussing the weather.  Here goes:

The Comfort of Dread

It’s almost the end of summer,
There is only one month left,
I’m dreading already the winter,
And the cold weather’s mighty, strong heft.

The ice, and the snow, and the chilblains,
(What are chilblains?)
What one used to have
When the frozen air got on one’s knuckles,
And one couldn’t afford a fine salve.

Yes, I dread even antique disasters,
Such as visited people of yore,
When the wind whistled ’round the high turrets
And the snow blew in under the door.

It’s useless to tell me I’m modern,
And I live in apartmented bliss,
After all, these things are so comparative,
And someone lives better than this.

Oh, it’s almost the end of warm greetings,
From one’s family and lovers and friends,
For on cold days they’re bundled and shivering,
And they all complain so without end.

Why, oh why, can’t there be a fine climate
Where we can determine the air,
Where the heat and AC are like indoors,
And follow us everywhere?

But I guess I wouldn’t be happy
Not to live through the change and to bitch,
So the temperate zone, chill or hotter,
Is where I will serve out my hitch.

©by Victoria L. Bennett, 7/29/18



Filed under poems on the weather, Poetry and its forms and meanings

3 responses to “A poem for true denizens of the temperate zone–“The Comfort of Dread”

  1. Nicely done. If we had a regulated temperature outside, we Brits would have nothing to talk about and we hate silences as it is. It is strange to think that people of yesteryear were happy with there living arrangements as it was better than the past but they had no idea how the future comforts would put theirs to shame. It is the same for us I suppose, in a 100 years time people will wonder how we lived as we do.

    • Actually, I saw a frightening map of the U.S., which claimed that by 2120 (not that it’ll affect me, of course, but…), there will be no place safe from bad weather catastrophes to live but Michigan and Wisconsin. Apparently, out west will be covered by wildfires, the plains will be covered by floods and tornados, the east and south floods likewise, and everywhere frozen weather during the winter, and the coasts, hurricanes and floods and shrinking land. Supposedly, in the two states of Michigan and Wisconsin, there will be the only true temperate weather left!

      • That is grim sounding. There is also Yellowstone that is due to go off at some point as well, just to stick the boot in some more. Every so often I get a text in Tagalog which I painstakingly decipher to prefer for ‘the big one’. Apparently it will happen we are just waiting for the earthquake that will shake Manila…and looking at these concrete high rises, it is a scary thought.

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