It’s snowing in the Sahara.

I saw the pictures — 
of white-capped dunes
beside camel and cactus,
the white on orange
of Martian blizzard

the extraordinary is becoming so familiar
as to stare unphased
at newspapers’ wry words
of white Christmasses in North Africa 
and wet winters on English plains

And the cherry blossoms are out — 
you tread on half-decaying offerings
unlikely gifts from misled trees,
out of sync with something.
They are ‘on the change’
Living in the wrong time

And in December, I see ladybirds 
dazed, or oblivious, I’m not sure
They are friends dropping in without warning
Pleasant. Unsettling.

And I read today
of bumper crops 
for daffodil growers 
who can’t believe their luck

While on the next page
the riverbanks breaking
is barely news — it’s every year now
And park ponds remain
stubbornly unfrozen

It troubles me
to be amused
at ducks swimming freely

I see signs, hints everywhere
that God is spinning 
us faster than before — 
the core at one speed,
the sky and seasons at another

And we are landing, dizzied

Or, these are His sympathy cards.
Prognostications of the coming fall
snow in the Sahara,
blossom and ladybirds,
and a brighter light

For every January tulip
there is the flood
And for the autumn straggler — 
daisies taking their chances in the absence of frost
There is the hurricane, and the drought

We have been warned
with winter hawthorn
and suspicious harvests

of dark days ahead — 
darker even
than December nights

where we stand upon
thinning ice

This poem was written for the Young Poets Network’s Winter Competition.

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