Winter in Summer / Summer in Winter


“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."
                                                    —Albert Camus

It's searing hot in the Willamette Valley!

I love the above quote, and it works the other way, too. A respite from our circumstances can be found within: summer in winter; winter in summer.

One sweltering August, pregnant with my first child, I took to singing Christmas songs. Belting out, "Let it Snow" helped me feel cooler, mentally, and somehow physically. (Who knew my daughter would be singing to me Christmas songs in choirs for years to come?)

Wildfire Writer Ken Robinson brings a wry, poignant quality to his stories and poems, and he, too, has been cooling down this summer by visiting a chilly season of the soul. Which is to say, we poets can use it all: the happy, the sorrowful, the rainstorm, the heat wave.


Wintry Mix        / Ken Robinson


The winter drags on.

The furnace is broken,

the landlord is hiding,

no one can find him.

I forgot to buy coffee.

Now my car won’t start.

Only yesterday, my cat up and died,

and when I dug his grave,

a water pipe burst.

Picture frames are falling,

the carpet is receding,

revealing floorboards that are rotted.

This morning, I cut myself shaving,

and now I am bleeding.

If that’s not enough, 

my favorite lamp just burned out.

And last night you left me,

this time forever, 

as I lay sleeping.

So here I sit, all alone in the dark.

Outside my window, a willow tree is weeping,

renegade storm clouds flirt, slow dance,

and become as one,

and the rain falls like tears,

sounding a relentless pitter-patter.

A lone mockingbird complains,

but none of this really matters,

for the sky is alive,

as am I.




The photo is Portland's Council Crest in winter, by Christi Krug


  1. Love Ken Robinson’s poem! Very descriptive and feeling.

  2. I found the poem moving and courageous. I would like to see more.

  3. The poem is beautifully sad but yet hopeful! Thanks, Ken

  4. Note from the author of the poem. Great B&W photograph, Christi, though the inclusion of the Camus quote sort of puts my own work to shame. Lol. Thanks to all for their kind comments!


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