Winter is sidling past autumn,

spring crawling over summer’s roof to see.

 

Summer has become tortoise-like, fashioned a shell,

crouches down in handfuls of short potent heatspells.

 

Autumn, though, has edged into the glade where winter was;

now these two have swapped and an emptiness of days

 

has separated them where no weathers at all are.

A white noise of bewitchment hangs in the thick air.

 

Winged beasts and floating monsters can faintly be seen –

borderline signals on mistuned television screens.

 

The confusion of seasons has left phantoms where they went from;

planes of weather are tilting at angles which are wrong.

 

Good weathers and bad have been slewed to odd adjacencies.

Streets are spitting up hailstones, leaves flying up to join trees.

 

 

Presaging a later interest in environmental concerns? Perhaps…this one was written at the end of an autumn which I remember as being all over the place weather-wise, veering back and forth between summer, full-on winter and all points in between. Just the sort of thing that’s become normal over the last few years in fact. Climate change was something, well I had certainly heard of it back in ’91, but how much else I knew I’m not sure. Not much. But writing this poem I distinctly remember I was thinking of a change that would gather pace ineluctably and be ongoing, not just a short disorientation. It was probably fanciful rather than based on knowledge though. ‘Confusion’ seems to start off slightly lamely but gets better as it goes along, looking at it now. It was part of a phase of being under the influence of Jeremy Reed, who seemed quite hip and who liked other authors I was into at the time like JG Ballard. But it was definitely just a phase; I got tired of him after a couple of books and moved on both reading and writing-wise.

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