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Winter Longings ©

by Clive H. Strover
Victoria, Australia

This poem was written by my late grandfather, C.H. Strover, a Gallipoli veteran, who survived to become an Oxford Don. Thereafter he spent some years in India teaching at various colleges, the family finally settling in England, then Australia. He taught for some years at Geelong Grammar. I am submitting it on his behalf as an extract from his previously published works. I hope your world wide brotherhood of poets enjoy!! Diana Newton

When the snow's on the ground,
And it's freezing hard,
And a crunching sound
'Neath the foot is heard,
And the cold eats in
To the very bone,
And the crystals thin
Freeze onto the stone -
Then I long for my home in the sunny South
Where the New Year comes from the summer drouth,
And all is brown or a dusty green
Except in the leafy deep ravine,
In a tree-choked gully, 'midst mosses and ferns,
Where the spring-fed creek runs, wriggles and turns
Round the butt of a tree-fern and under a root,
Kissing the wattle's new silvery shoot-
There let me lie, with a pipe and a book
And sleep, if I want to, or sit up and look
At the lyre-bird, clucking his axeman's stroke
Or the bower bird under the old she-oak.
Perhaps a sweet sound would come down on the breeze
Of the bell-bird ringing his chime in the trees.
The air would be full of the scent of the gums
And the musk, where the happy bee softly hums.
Perhaps a grey 'roo would stealthily jump
Down for a drink, by the creeper-clad stump.
There let me stay, till the sun in the west
Paints with his fire the wedge-tail's nest
At the top of the towering, dead, white tree.
And the birds of the bush wake up to see
The end of a blistering scorching day.
There let me be... where I fain would stay.

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