Dark daze

Pancake Day is late this year
but I don’t feel less starved.
It’s not for lack of food or warmth –
these times are much less hard
than when Lenten deprivation
was easy ’cos you had now just about
nothing but the minimum
to see the winter out.

All the same our spirits sink real low,
the old and weak fall off their perch,
the solstice wasn’t half as bad,
now we’re truly in the lurch.
Whether clear or cloudy,
windy, drowned in rain,
this season is the fag-end
till the sun returns again.

The Protestants banned Carnival,
when we would take some cheer,
getting out of their control
with brandy, wine or beer.
It’s better though in southern lands
to be out on the street
than in this cold and greyer place
with wet or frozen feet.

If you have a sweetheart
to send a Valentine,
the springtime feels less far away
and you’ll hang on there fine.
But, if they do not answer
and you’re sat all alone,
nothing seems as cruel
as a silent telephone.

I’m not trying to depress you –
that you can manage without me –
but February Fill-dike
means the buds on every tree
are getting ready to explode,
welcoming another round
for those who still have got the strength
to stand upon the ground.

rs 8-9.2.19