By Philip Cairns

Copyright 2011 by Philip Cairns



Trudging and sliding through the newly fallen January snow,

I’m thinking wistfully of hot August walks by the lake.

Sun beating down on my bronzed, porous skin.

Sunglasses and baseball cap shielding me from the rays.



Watching a group of young guys laughing and playing in the warm water.

Runners and cyclists zooming by on the bike path beside Lake Ontario.

Wish I were back there,

That broiling site straddling my wistful reverie.



Instead, I wear 2 warm sweaters and a long-sleeved shirt under my dark gray winter coat.

Long, thick purple scarf wound tightly around my neck.

Turquoise knitted cap snugly covering my head.

Sharp bites of cold chew ravenously on my numb, curled-up fingers.

Firm legs like blocks of ice.



No bare chests to ogle as they walk by in their tight, cut-off jeans.

Today, everyone looks like a fur trapper.



I’m remembering many, many moons ago,

Dressed in a red snowsuit,

Making angels in the white powder.

Smoking candy cigarettes,

My breath swirling in the chilled air.



Building snowmen in the backyard.   

Running indoors for hot chocolate and cookies.

Snow fights with neighbourhood friends.



Today, I’m longing for a sweltering August afternoon.

Arriving home with sweat drenched clothes from brisk daily walks.

Soaking in the warmth of the day.

Feeling at the peak of things.

Listening to the rolling rhythm of the tides.



No shivering at bus stops at 3 a.m.,

Coming home from work.

Slush splattered from impatient taxi-cabs.

Twisting my ankle in the colourless blankets covering the sidewalk’s flaws.



Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster making out on the beach

In “From Here to Eternity”.

Burt almost naked in his skin tight black swimsuit.

Deborah’s back totally bare.

Sweaty, carnal and erotic.



It wouldn’t be the same if they were recumbent in a blizzard,

Covered in fur from head to toe like two Inuit elders.

Prudish and chaste.

The wind howling round their butts.

No, not a classic love scene, at all.



In January, it would take them 10 minutes to undress

Before they made love.

Swim trunks come off in one second flat.



Give me eternal August.

Sweet and gentle.

Soothing sunshine every day.

Snow a putrid, distant memory.

No leaky boots to contend with.

No frosty penis from a late night pee beside an oak tree.

No chilled fingers and toes.



Just the soft swoosh of the green-gray tides.

Fiery red sun.

Packs of smiling faces playing volleyball in the burning sand.

Bare feet splashing in the surf.

The world a spinning prism of clear, bright crystal.