Months and Seasons (a poem for children)

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I was driving with my four year-old today and seeing if she could remember the names of the months and the order they came in. She did pretty well (with a little hinting at first letter sounds.) Then I asked her if she remembered the names and order of the seasons. She missed a few so I thought about how I could help her remember them easier. As usual, I wrote a poem. I read it to her tonight at bedtime and she seemed to enjoy it. Feel free to share it with your little ones! 🙂

Months and Seasons

In January, the year begins
and the air is crisp and cold
Winter’s snowy beard is long
and he’s starting to get old.

In February, it’s not so chilly
but Old Man Winter still holds on
for he knows the spring is coming
and when it does, he will be gone.

In March, the first signs of spring
Come with a whisper, not a shout.
Green buds begin to peek to see
if it’s safe to come back out.

In April, bright sun showers come.
The air is full of spring’s perfume
as bees and birds and butterflies
soar and glide from bloom to bloom.

In May, the sun shines brighter
on all the children as they play.
After months of cold, the flowers
Put on an exuberant display.

In June, the sun grows anxious
for its days of glory to begin.
Spring is summer’s closest friend
so we see each, and they both win.

In July, the sun is beating down.
Every creature seeks the shade,
dreaming of cooler winter months
and the flowers spring had made.

In August, the sun starts to wane.
It’s fury once again is spent.
The autumn comes to give it rest
and asks it kindly to relent.

In September, cool winds blow again
as if to warn of winter’s chill.
Days are filled with schoolyard fun
and nights are long and still.

In October, the sun is all but gone.
Leaves that were green begin to fade
to brown and yellow, red and gold.
And in dying, beauty’s made.

In November, the trees prepare
for the long, cold months ahead.
Only the heartiest flowers grow
and the trees’ leaves all are shed.

In December, the other seasons
are covered over when it snows
but winter has beauty all its own
as the year comes to a close.

So that’s the story of the months
and the seasons we love to see,
each glorious in their own ways,
each full of grace and majesty.

Mark Rickerby (c) 2015

Welcoming the Fall (Poem)

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Another August is ending.
One more summer is dying
Indifferent to what we planned to do
But again, didn’t.

Only death can make us feel the passing of time
More acutely than the changing of seasons.

In the fall, changing leaves teach us how to grow old.
In the winter, our loved ones help us ward off the cold.
In the spring, hope blooms again and the spirit expands.
In the summer, our hearts long for exotic, faraway lands.

There was some adventure in this summer,
And love, hope, growth, happiness;
But the eternal, perfect summer;
The glorious, golden, sun-splashed summer
That has always danced in the depths of my soul;
The collection of idealized images stored in my mind
Again eluded me.
Maybe it always will.

Where do we collect these fantasies?
From post cards? Novels? Movies?
Or perhaps from some perfect moment,
Some blessed nanosecond of pristine peace
Captured during the delicious, unfiltered innocence
Of childhood
Or during some vacation in the distant past;
Moments we were unable to extend
After we returned home
And changed in ways that living required.

And it dawns on me
That we see many things
The way we see the seasons.
So much never matches our fantasies
And so much is lost in their pursuit.

Maybe this longing has nothing to do with the summer or fall
But only the aching, insatiable emptiness that governs us all.

There is never enough.
Only hours after a meal, we are hungry again.
We find money on the ground
And after a moment of elation,
Start searching for more.
It is this way with everything.
It is a chore to stop for a moment
And appreciate what we have.
Nothing more than what we have.
Something we must remind ourselves to do.

So as the sun sets for the last time
Over this waning summer
And a cool breeze cuts through the warmth
As if to warn me of colder days ahead,
This time . . . this time,
I will close my eyes,
Breathe deeper than last year,
Savor the final remnants of sage
Blowing down from the hills
And think to myself,
“Yes . . . this was a good summer.
A good summer.”

Then I’ll peacefully let this spent summer die
And resolve to do later all that I hoped to try.
The seasons don’t mean us any harm, after all.
So with a joyous heart, I will welcome the fall.

Mark Rickerby
(c) 2005