The fading colours in a trembling leaf,
Perhaps a portent of the coming cold,
When the heavy hand of an icy winter
Will press hard upon gully, flat and fold.
The rose’s vicious stems will be laid bare
Making way for the jonquils proud display.
Their sweet perfume partial compensation
For the grey and dreary days here to stay.
The cold sou’westerly wind on icy wings
Will fly over the brow of Mount Misery,
The wintery clouds fleeing before it,
Not daring in unison to mutiny.
The manicured grass of lawns will go brown,
held hostage to the frost of brilliant white.
Hillsides alive with the gold of the wattles
Blazing on the steep green slopes in sunlight.
The tweed collars of brown will be turned up
On every sort of mothballed winter coat.
The rosy red cheeks will beam in defiance,
Yet another colour winter can’t smote.
The grand golden elms of Robertson Park
Will a brittle and brilliant carpet form.
A natural new millionaire’s playground
To which rugged up bustling children are drawn.
There’ll be the loud shrieks of childish laughter,
And tears of despair as fallen leaves fly.
Soon their winter coats will all be soaked through,
With parents wondering how they’ll get them dry.
The elegant green stained spire of Saint Mary’s
Still and silent shows the way through the fog.
Relentlessly pointing to the heavens
With a message for ev’ry man and his dog.
The heavy white winter blanket laying
Along the wandering waters of Cudgegong,
Spills out into town hiding morn’s magpies,
Intent on heralding the dawn with song.
Such are my closely held boyhood memories
Of frostbitten freezing winters ‘back home’.
The view through these rose coloured glasses
Afflicting the reminisces of this poem.
Looking over my shoulder I’m reminded
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder.
And I can vouch for the time-honoured truth,
As through the years I have set to wander.
For here I sit in my favourite spot
As the sun shines on this the Queen’s land.
In this pale northern version of winter ,
Where it’s mid May and the weather’s still grand.
Perhaps if I could just make a visit,
Get a taste and then too quickly retreat.
For there is no doubt it would bite hard
After several years of life in this heat.
Still, my children both look at me askance
When I talk fondly of frost, fog and ice.
Of cutting winds, low clouds and warm fireplace,
Oh, to go back there - wouldn’t it be nice!