My brolly broke, godammit, Such a useless, shoddy thing – I’d really have to ram it Just to close its wonky spring. Always turning inside-out, And barely waterproof – I reckon, even in a drought, It’s still a leaky roof. I guess it’s better than nothing, And with patience, could be saved – But is it really worth the faffing For each time it misbehaved ? The ratchet isn’t coupling, And the popper won’t hold fast, The flimsy ribs were buckling When I tried to close it last. “Enough !” I roared, “you’ve tested me For the enth and final time ! For far too long you’ve bested me, But vengeance shall be mine !” I shoulda tossed it the day it was bought, But it won’t trouble me again – Until, that is, next time I’m caught In the unprotected rain.
I’ve always been a weeper in the wind – It only takes the slightest breeze To turn-on my capillaries, As drip by drip, I am chagrined, And have to whip my hankie out To stem each overactive spout.
I don’t know why The weather makes me cry, Especially the cold. An eye-jerk sense, Or anti-drought defence That will not be controlled.
I’ve always been too salty in the frost – All the Winter, all those leaks, To run and freeze upon my cheeks. So tear by tear, my poise is lost, Into a sobbing, briny wreck Who cannot keep his ducts in check.
I don’t know why My gaze is never dry, Until my eyeballs rust. They even seep While closed and fast asleep, Then desiccate to dust.
After the storm, in the fury’s wake, When the wind is an innocent breeze, It barely can muster a half-hearted shake Through what remains of the trees, But knows its debris demonstrates Where a mighty chaos strode – In toppled fences, shattered slates, And a litter of twigs in the road.
After the storm, in the cyclone’s calm, When the wind is feeble and spent, It sheepishly strokes us, meaning no harm, As it whispers its way through the vent. But the proof of its debauched revelry Is strewn from the park to the square – And it’s secretly proud of its devilry As it gently ruffles our hair.
Flat roofs belong to the Mediterranean, Roofs for sun-decks, cheap to build, For drying the laundry and gazing at stars, Where the gutters have never spilled. But Northern nations need their pitches, Steep and tall and highly skilled.
Forget the tar, that won’t keep rain out, That takes slate and tile and lead – And don’t let snow accumulate, It must be sheer enough to shed. Maybe some dormers, maybe a Mansard, Maybe even thatch instead.
But these days, and since the Georgians, Fashions favour flat and low, Yet walls get wet when eaves are dropped, And the drainpipes overflow. So ev’ry Winter spring the leaks From rain with nowhere to go.
It isn’t a frost – don’t fret, But it is a cold morning – Notice is given, we’d better take care, It’s merely the first of the nips in the air. It isn’t a frost – not yet, But it is a fair warning – It won’t come tomorrow or next week, it’s stating, But Autumn is old, and the Winter is waiting.
Too far North, and barely notice, North, yet swimming in the seas – Where beaches should be icy-cold, There’s ice creams, tans, and mushy peas. There’s little snowfall on the coast As far as even Sixty-North, And days of t-shirt weather stretch For far beyond the Firth of Forth
It’s crazy how the ocean brings The Caribbean to the Clyde, While closer to the Pole than even Fuego is on the other side, And Trondheim firmly basks within Antarctic latitudes, Yet broadleafs line the verdant fjords To show their gratitude.
And not just warmth arrives all year, but rain – And rain it is, not snow – So Western Europe only works because Its crops and people grow. Too far North, and that’s the beauty, Norther than we’ve any right, When Winter Moons are long above And Summer Suns last half the night.
I’ve commented before on how much further North Europe is than North America, at least in terms of their respective population centres. For instance, the Southern point of Hudson Bay lies at the same latitude as London – but whereas the former has polar bears, the latter doesn’t even have them in London Zoo.
A month of Sun, and then a month of rain All in a day Of monochrome, A month of Sun, then get the horrid rain Out of the way, While we stay home.
Alas, a month of heat will bake the ground As hard as clay, It can’t be tilled – So when the rain comes down, so fleet, It floods the river, floods the street, But cannot penetrate two feet, And washes off, away. The aquifer, I fear, is not refilled By what the clouds have milled.
The thing is, if you want tall trees, Then what you need is drizzle. A garden full of bumblebees Needs flowers, which need drizzle. For wheat that’s taller than your knees, For greener grass and fatter peas, For tamping down your allergies, You need a May of drizzle.
1. May comes bounding down the year As eager as a springer spaniel. Ev’rybody knows she’s here, A bursting, blooming, early annual. May comes blowing from the south As teasing as a cuckoo’s call She’s closing up old Winter’s mouth By throwing off her woollen shawl.
2. A little rain in May Is sweeter than an April shower – Though the high Spring skies may glower, We know they will not last the day. The clouds are silvery, not grey, Less thunderheads than fairy towers, Washing lambs and spritzing flowers, Dropping by, then on their way.
3. May – the name says it all. The month when it might, When it should – Ah, but will it ? The month that may have a squall Or a heatwave, Or a dozen other weathers Come to fill it. Could be a late gasp of snow up on the hills While the valleys open windows, And the breezes spin the mills. Such is the fortune In the month of maybe May. When all of this could happen In a week, Or in a day.