Seasonal affectation

As the summer solstice draws near, here’s a poem, born of confusion, which I wrote this time last year.

Seasonal affectation

June July August
September October November
December January February
March April May

Meteorological seasons
follow the Gregorian calendar.

Astronomical seasons
follow equinoxes and solstices.

In meteorological terms,
summer begins on June the first.
An expert weather forecaster knows this
whereas non-experts,
meteorologically speaking,
speak astronomically.

Astronomical summer begins
on June the twentieth
or is it the twenty first?
I need to know!

Actual summer begins when it feels like it,
ends when it ends
and some years, well,
it just doesn’t …
feel like it.

Both astronomical and meteorological seasons
contain other seasons:

The silly season, for example,
which occurs when other seasons
don’t.

Or the football season which,
regardless of the calendar in use,
ends on the last day of one season
and begins on the first day of the next.

Astronomical seasons
are about three weeks behind
meteorological seasons,
so weather forecasters are campaigning
to have the astronomical seasons
brought forward by three weeks
to make their forecasts more accurate.

Actually I was a bit astronomical with the truth there.
But I hope to promote the meteoric rise
of meteorological seasons
as a subject for casual conversation
in preference to merely talking about the weather.

© Heather Wastie

Meteorological or Astronomical?

In honour of the autumn equinox, here’s a poem I wrote the last time we had a solstice:

Seasonally affected

September October November
December January February
March April May
June July August

Meteorological seasons
follow the Gregorian calendar

Astronomical seasons
follow equinoxes and solstices

In meteorological terms,
summer begins on June the first.
An expert weather forecaster knows this
whereas non-experts,
meteorologically speaking,
speak astronomically

Astronomical summer begins
on June the twentieth
or is it the twenty first?
I need to know!

Actual summer begins when it feels like it,
ends when it ends
and some years, well,
it just doesn’t …
feel like it.

Both Astronomical and Meteorological seasons
contain other seasons:

The silly season, for example
which occurs when other seasons don’t.

Or the football season which,
regardless of the calendar in use,
ends on the last day of one season
and begins on the first day of the next.

Astronomical seasons
are about 3 weeks behind
meteorological seasons,
so weather forecasters are campaigning
to have the astronomical seasons
brought forward by 3 weeks
to make their forecasts more accurate.

Actually I was a bit astronomical with the truth there.
But I hope to promote the meteoric rise
of meteorological seasons
as a subject for casual conversation
in preference to merely talking about the weather.

© Heather Wastie
June 2014

Blame the weather man

The very first image which sparked off my interest in writing about Kidderminster and the carpet industry was one presented by Melvyn Thompson during a tour of the town. He talked about dyes from the various factories combining their colours in the River Stour. Very recently I was sent a poem about The Stour which includes that image so I have added it to the collection of writing by others on the Your Stories page, with thanks to Roger Mathews.

Since we’re on the subject of rivers, I wrote a piece recently which refers to the flooding issues along the River Severn. It also collects together quirky quotes from TV weather presenters. The verses are spoken and the chorus (in italics) sung. I sang it at Mouth and Music (www.mouthandmusic.co.uk) and hope to perform it again some time!

Blame the Weatherman

There are a few teething problems with Spring.
The winds are up to no good
and there’s some unctuous warm air
– a weather sandwich.

The barriers are up in Bewdley,
Worcester racecourse is inundated,
the long range weather forecast
is for a 6 week hose pipe ban

so there’s no need to dredge the rivers
and there’s no point clearing out the bridge holes,
water water everywhere
and no-one will carry the can

It’s all down to global warming
that the ice is melting in our greenhouse,
the shifting winds will blow your house down.
Blame the weather man.

Hail and hurricanes and earthquakes
Blame the weather man
(or the weather girl)
Blame the weather man.

The sunshine’s been in the shadows.
There’ll be rain romping in from the west on Wednesday;
It’ll be a real windscreen wiper of a morning.
There’ll be a psychedelic storm followed by some cool days.

We’ve got weather in the forecast today.
It’s going to throw lots of things at us.
The showers could be quite punchy
but we’ll be shoe-horning in some sun.

There’ll be some usable weather flirting with the south coast –
crisp, cold and deliciously sunny.
In the Midlands there’ll be a disappointing fog
and some clearly not helpful rain.

Today will be jam packed with plenty of weather;
I’ve been going mad with the crayons!
It will be colder than the figures on the weather map
due to cold air.
It’ll be 10 degrees. But it will feel like 9.

© Heather Wastie
March 2014