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January Jumps About - Poem by George Barker (George Barker)

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January jumps about in the frying pan trying to heat his frozen feet like a Canadian. February scuttles under any dish's lid and she thinks she's dry because she's thoroughly well hid but it still rains all month long and it always did. March sits in the bath tub with the taps turned on. Hot and cold, cold or not, Has the Winter gone? In like a lion, out like a lamb March on, march on, march on. April slips about sometimes indoors and sometimes out sometimes sheltering from a little shower of bright rain in an empty milk bottle then dashing out again. May, she hides nowhere, nowhere at all, Proud as a peacock walking by a wall. The Maytime O the Maytime, full of leaf and flower. The Maytime O the Maytime is the loveliest of all. June discards his shirt and trousers by the stream and takes the first dip of the year into a jug of cream. June is the gay time of every girl and boy who run about and sing and shout in pardonable joy. July by the sea sits dabbling with sand letting it run out of her rather lazy hand, and sometimes she sadly thinks: "As I sit here ah, more than half the year is gone, the evanescent year." August by an emperor was given his great name. It is gold and purple like a Hall of Fame. (I have known it rather cold and wettish, all the same.) September lies in shadows of the fading summer hearing, in the distance, the silver horns of winter and not very far off the coming autumn drummer. October, October apples on the tree, the Partridge in the Wood and the big winds at sea, the mud beginning in the lane the berries bright and red and the big tree wildly tossing its old head. November, when the fires love to burn, and leaves flit about and fill the air where the old tree grieves. November, November its name is like a star glittering on many things that were but few things that are. Twelfth and last December. a few weeks away we hear the silver bells of the stag and the sleigh flying from the tundras far far away bringing to us all the gift of our Christmas Day. George Barker

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