POEM: Winter is upon us

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THE cold north wind scatters the leaves,

As the wise tawny owl sleeps under the eaves.

The red squirrel retires to its nest in the tree,

Its eyes full of sleep, just curls instantly.

The wild deer grazing high on the fells,

Start drifting down to the lower dells.

The winds are warmer the lower they go,

A keen sense of smell warns them of snow.

The sly old fox spends hours in his den,

Scheming and dreaming of the farmer’s young hen.

The swallows and swift are now far away,

White frost on the hillside at the break of each day.

Then gently the first of the snowflakes fall,

Covering the land with a soft silken shawl.

The red robin sits on the old farmyard gate,

And ponders a little on the plump chicken’s fate.

The heron stands at the edge of the lake,

His colours blending, his outline opaque.

The osprey hunting with its keen sight,

Notes the change in the winter twilight.

Mother Nature joins her children at rest,

Spring, summer and autumn have done their best.

Her fourth child, winter, must rally to the call,

Preparing the way for spring’s gentle recall.

Albert Armstrong,

Percy Street,

Hartlepool.