it’s the first month of the year (2024 — 😀 on the assumption this blog may still exist in years to come!) but here in Portugal the weather is unseasonably spring-like…Sun currently shining is mild and tempting all the usual frolics and fecundity of the coming season to erupt a little early:

January Joy

Percussion of a ‘pecker

Drumming high-up in a tree

A visitor who’s often heard

But rarely will you see

The hopeful call of ginger Tom

Weaving through the wood

Looking for a little ‘love’

If someone’s in the mood

My black cat watching from the deck

His warning mewl sounds like a croak

As a weirdly-warm late winter wind

Carries with it aromatic smoke

For local farmers clearing land

Are setting waste to burn

The know they have to take their chance

For weather’s sure to turn

It’s not yet Spring although the Sun

It seems just doesn’t know

It prompts the grasses, shrubs and plants

already keen to grow

Their bursting shoots and blooming buds

Are witnessed everywhere

And though it’s still the year’s first month

The land looks green and fair

But in the pines like candyfloss

The caterpillar’s nebulous nests

Hang heavier and more this time

Home to those hairy, harmful pests

Whose legions will soon start to march

As they follow Nature’s plan

But trooping nose-to-tail they’ll pose

A danger both to beast and man

Just then a raucous fleet arrives

Oblivious to such things

Leaping wildly through the boughs

With a flash of azure wings

As Eucalyptus in hula skirt

Dances in the blithe and balmy breeze

Observed by neighbouring, nodding pines

And envious smaller trees

It seems that sun-blessed joy abounds

Dispelling days of dour, damp chill

As if to say the timeless cycle starts

Once more… just as it always will

Copyright © 2024 Al G Smith

….or, for ‘gluttons for punishment’ 😀 you can listen listen to my effort to narrate the poem here: