Wednesday, 2 December 2009

When Does Autumn Officially Become Winter?

I'd be surprised if anybody could answer the question with any degree of certainty. Here, I definitely think Winter flexed its muscles yesterday, for a cold and frosty morning turned the grass into a crunchy surface, as I dragged the Wheelie Bin across to the pavement, ready to be emptied. But today, it's back to wet and relatively warm, so it would seem Winter changed its mind after all.

As I've not inflicted any poems on you for a while, I thought I'd share one today - one I'm never likely to forget, as I got paid the princely sum of £5 when it was printed in a magazine. I hastened to photocopy the cheque as everlasting proof, for I doubt I shall ever reach such rumunerative heights again - especially since that particular magazine is no longer in existence. I think I'm safe in saying the Tax Man will not be knocking on my door any time soon as a result of my earnings...

End Of Autumn

The white-disc moon of daylight hours
hides briefly behind clouds whose showers
sprinkle drops of silver rain that glint
as sunshine slants again
across the land.

Through spiders' webs of crystal laces
peep holly’s bright red, berry faces.
Their glossy leaves sharp-pointed splinters
prod days of autumn into winter’s
frosty hand.


  1. I am as puzzled as you are about the weather. It has rained non stop for a month now. The ground is saturated.
    We did get a very frosty morning recently & it was so cold. I thought that was the end of the wet weather but now it is back.

    Nuts in May

  2. like the holly's bright red faces :)

  3. This poem's structure is lovely...and the images you create are as always unforgettable...I am glad that you poetry was so recognized...but it will remain for me, unforgettable because of its beautiful across my screen...crystal laces, holly faces, winter's frosty hand...there is no one like are a masterpiece and an original, Jinksy! And I'm proud to say I "know" you! ~Janine XO

  4. I've always felt that the first below-freezing day is the line, but I suppose it would vary greatly from place to place. Around here, usually near the beginning of December, so any day now.

  5. Janine said everything I wanted to say about the poem. You captured Autumn.
    We are still waiting for rain here in the Northwest. Usually, rain comes in October and pounds on us for months. This fall, we have had two storms only. Yesterday was as warm as summer, low sixties. I'm beginning to wonder about all this.

  6. We have similar issues here, when does this start / end.

    Glad you took a photocopy of the cheque as those are worth far more than their weight!

  7. The beautiful poem says it all, Jinksy! I feel Old Man Winter nipping at my heels! And my hands too for that matter, lol! But soon, soon now...he'll be in full swing.

  8. Beautiful poem, jinksy....
    I smiled at your not worrying about taxing on your earnings from your writing...but, my never knows! Your writings are excellent.
    The weather here is much like yours (except warmer...) The temp is up and down...and right now we are under a tornado watch until 5 P.M. this afternoon. It's 11:11 A.M. as I type.
    I send you many smiles,

  9. For some unfathomable reason I am not into poetry, but this one got through! It is probably a result of those horrid school-ma'ams' forcing me to memorize and repeat "I wandered lonely as a cloud ..." without attempting to 'show' me the beauty of the words and structure. My loss!

    Two winters ago, on a horribly grey January day, it actually snowed here in Lisbon. It lasted for all of 15 minutes, but the look on the upturned faces of those that had never experienced the falling of snow spoke volumes as to whether or not winter had arrived. If they were in any doubt, it was soon dispelled.

  10. Wonderful imagery Jinksy. I once too photocopied a cheque I received as a bonus -- as both proof that I was "worthy" and that I may never repeat such financial success. ;-)

    You have such lilt in your poems ... thanks for a pick me up.

  11. winter hits when weather doesn't hit above 50 F for a few's official! your poem does reflect the beauty of the grey skies and wet sprinkled streets with frost bitten mittens...there is such a charm to winter/fall that is dear, warm winter to ya! :)

  12. That's an absolute beauty of a poem, Jinsky.

    Your season seems to be reflecting ours. We've had similar crunchy cold with a slight dusting yesterday but warming up nicely today. Officially for me is when I'm shoveling.. the snow.. not that other S word. ;)

  13. You say so much in so few words, Jinksy. Your poem is lovely!
    ...I think we have seen the end of autumn here, we are expecting our first winter like weather tonight!

  14. Jinksy

    This morning was clear and teetering on frosty. Then thick mist, followed by bright, warm sunshine with black clouds and heavy rain close behind!

    Very nice poem, by-the-way.

  15. What makes winter so difficult is its duration. It begins when it's still officially autumn and doesn't properly end until after spring has officially begun. Not here anyway.

  16. According to the calendar, it's Dec. 21st. But today with the chill, rain and all, it feels like it has all ready started. And they say we may get some snow tomorrow. I'm not ready for it. But it's like giving birth, whether you want to or not, it's going to happen, so jsut make the best of it. LOL

  17. I think, for me, I felt the first breath of winter after reading your lovely poem on that very topic.

  18. As I sit here beside my fire, my landscape is covered with a blanket of snow and it is very cold outside...our Winter has arrived, but it changes it's mind every year and one only knows when one looks out through the frosty glass to watch the snow falling.....I don't mind winter or wouldn't if it didn't last so long as once it comes it seems forever before it goes away......:-) hugs

  19. well jinksy we've had three weeks of frost and a snow and it's chilly on my rides so my ears turn red when i get into school but it's not winter yet!!! but it feels a little like it. my favourite winter was in saltburn up in yorkshire. my last winter in england. steven

  20. Love the poem. I shall think about it as I walk through the woods.

    I'm glad there is no 'officialness' in the seasons! Yesterday here, like where you are, felt like winter, and although today was also warmer, I feel that winter is here.

    (I hope this comment gets through - I've tried about five times, but it kept disappearing! If you suddently get six comments from me, that's why!!)

  21. Winter's frosty hand... and I am feeling cold! I love the poem and all the images.
    This transition phase has always struck me about the change of seasons.. when do you know autumn is gone and winter is here... winter is gone and spring is here.. spring is gone and summer is here. They just blend, intertwine into each other.

  22. beautifully expressed, the winter's touch... i especially loved "peep holly’s bright red, berry faces."

  23. Well, you can always say you "been published" as we say here!

    Autumn to winter to autumn is a daily sequence here also.

    I stay confused, my allergies are confused, and my wardrobe is confused.

  24. Easy peasy - in the UK at any rate. It used to be the 21 Dec - officially, but now it's the 1st, changed by the weather forecasters who found the 21st too difficult to work with!

  25. Excellent poem!
    And winter does officially start on the 21st December on the Continent, where they know how to do things proper!

  26. Hello Jinksy,

    Well worth five pounds! Dec 1st was a typically wintry day with lovely frost but it was soon gone.

  27. It's a great treat to be rewarded though, isn't it?
    Good to see you and read your poem.

  28. Winter came just this past weekend. ONly comes here through winter's blanket. We are well bundled.

    I like your poem, Jinksy. And even though it was only 5, that's 5 more than I've ever seen. You have arrived.

  29. For me, Winter officially arrives when I look out the window and see all my annual plants dead, and the tender perennials black and withered. My grass, somehow, remains relatively green, although it, too, may be cruncy with frost.

    Loved your poem.

  30. Good luck. I've tried at least twice to inspire people to hook up their email accounts -- to no avail. But you explained it much better.

  31. P.S. Winter officially arrived last night. Another indicator is that the water in the bird bath is frozen solid. Brr!

  32. i am posting this to see if my picture come up with my comment sissy frm tennessee wrote about the weather and being prettty much alone i noted it almost being stranded a hundred miles away form home attending a gradson's baptism, and rhmes with plauge mentioned it about gerogia finnaly getting cold, like i always said qaudruplets i say


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