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Groundhog day - Thursday, February 2nd 2023

The date of the celebration
(the second day of February) coincides
with medieval feast of Candlemas,
and its pre-Christian predecessor,
Imbolc, a day also rich in folklore.

An old Scottish prophecy foretells
sunny weather on Candlemas
means a long winter.

The tradition is recounted in this poem:
As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and snow
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop.

Punxsutawney Phil is the focal point
of oldest and largest annual
Groundhog Day celebration,
held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania,
every year since 1886.

Members of Phil’s “Inner Circle”
claim he is now 137 years old,
(rumor circulates this one groundhog lived 
to make weather prognostications
since 1886, sustained by drinks 
of "groundhog punch" 
or "elixir of life" administered 
at annual Groundhog 
Picnic in the fall),
hence thanks to said magical
life-extending serum
they feed him each year—
and his predictions
one hundred percent accurate.

Groundhog day - Thursday, February 2nd 2023

Coincides with astronomy's
first cross-quarter day,
marking the midpoint between
winter solstice and
spring (vernal) equinox,
which will occur at 5:24?PM on
in Northern Hemisphere
Eastern Standard Time
Monday, March 20, 2023

Small consolation old man winter
spans fewest days
of all four seasons,
especially when

A powerful nor'easter 
will develop in western Atlantic 
beginning late Friday,
(February third two thousand
and twenty three) 
bringing heavy snow, 
strong winds and 
coastal flooding to parts 
of the East Coast, 
but there remains 
a larger than usual amount 
of uncertainty in forecast 
for this storm.

Yours truly remembers
when spry Jack (hoar) Frost
(just yea high -
both arms stretched to sky)
came early, left late and bossed
zealous vernal equinox
rattling barenaked lady branches
obviously inapropos
to budding friendship.

Now (courtesy global warming/ climate change)
mother nature experiences feeling strange
within valleys and atop many mountain range,
wherein goods traded away on stock exchange.

Fortunate concerning yours truly
versus daring to brave
inclement treacherous weather
getting stranded in the process
(possibly becoming gratefully dead)
risking life and limb venturing forth

amidst near whiteout conditions
creating debacle perilous and grave
shoveling snow lest he get buried
he can remain holed up
(in tandem with the missus)
snug as a bug in his mancave.

While nestled inside warm abode for awhile
(at least until temperature upwards doth dial
safely ensconced against elements (of style),
I stopped at metaphoric woods edge
trekking until... for no rhyme nor reason
the poetic metered equivalent,
viz another mile
then stopped for coffee break

burst of energy gave me cause to smile
fording imponderable stream of consciousness
impossible (airy) mission to dodge regarding
aforesaid daunting task to craft worthwhile
poetic endeavor to entertain anonymous readers
gleaning how one bard (with his shaky spear)
evokes fiction being snowbound
as if cast adrift within Siberian exile.

Straightaway I continue writing askew
aware how literary trademark modality
characteristic of one hapless wordsmith
unwittingly indelibly embedded
analous to mine Caucasian
versus swarthy melanin hue

man automatically confers eligibility granting
innumerable known mighty opportunities
(privileged skin color - how unfair)
bigoted prejudices shade those
either hashtagged as black,
naturally copper toned gentile and/or Jew.

Copyright © matthew harris