A Trans-media poem by Mike Hembury

O Winter
– with apologies to Allen Ginsberg’s ‘America’

O winter, I used to think you were cold towards me
But now I know you’ve got the hots.
O winter you’ve been calving icebergs again
Don’t be such a silly cow.
Larsen B has floated off
And Larsen C is cracking up.

O winter, are you cracking up too?
O winter, what do you expect me to do with all that ice?
O winter I don’t even drink Caipirinha.
O winter can’t you be nice to all those people at Standing Rock?
They’re freezing their asses off up there.
O winter how about sending them down some of those extra 30 degrees
You’ve donated to the Arctic?
O winter are you going to teach the Inuit to swim?
Is this your idea of a joke?


you’ve been playing cards with the oil industry again
But I think they’ve got you trumped this time.
You know I believe you when you tell me you’re a-changing
But they think you’re just a prankster
A hoaxer
They want to put you inside
On some trumped-up charge.
O winter, do you need a lawyer?
O winter, it’s good that you popped in.
I’ve been missing you, where’ve you been so long?
O winter, are you on the wane?
Like, long-term?

O winter, if you are on the way out
Why is it so frigging cold?
You say it’s just that old jet stream acting up again
Can’t you ground her for a week?
Maybe give her a good talking-to?
O winter I watched The Day After Tomorrow
It was all very worrying.

O winter will you still be here
When the Atlantic Conveyor gives up the ghost?
O winter will you ever go away again
When the Atlantic Conveyor gives up the ghost?
O winter what do you think of the Anthropocene
So far?
Hasn’t it turned out nicely
For the time of year?
O winter say hi to the El Niño kids when you see them
And tell them I’ve still got their football

O winter the Pacific Gyre is full of garbage
And the Amazon is full of oil companies
If the lungs of the planet are drowning in crude
Will I have to learn to breath with a snorkel?
O winter and what about sea level rise?
Is now a good time to say goodbye to New York?
You know me, always leaving things to the last minute.
It’s good that air travel is so cheap.
O winter it’s been good to know you.
O winter I can’t help thinking that you’re trying to tell me something.
O winter can’t you just come out with it?
I’ll keep it to myself, I promise.

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Mike Hembury is an Anglo-Berliner originally from Portland, England.  He’s a writer, translator, musician, coder, sailor, environmentalist and guitar nerd in no particular order.  You can follow Mike on Twitter here: twitter.com/schnappz