A Winter State of Mind, written by Conor Doherty (Year 13, Marsden) - was awarded Highly Commended in the 2022 Poetry New Zealand Yearbook Student Poetry Competition.
A Winter State of Mind
It’s 5:38 on an Easter Monday afternoon and it’s going dark already.
I sit, reading sad poetry,
Listening to sad songs,
And watching the rain spatter onto my deck.
All the doors and windows are shut,
And yet the cold still seeps in.
It’s the first time I’ve felt it on my skin this year.
It’s time to start shifting back into a winter state of mind, I suppose.
Time for jeans and sweaters,
For the other half of Taylor Swift’s discography.
When you need blankets to stay up past 12,
And when hugs get longer and tighter to try to stay warm.
Time for so so cold mornings throwing off the duvet,
Time for academic integrity and struggling to move your fingers in the cold.
Sometimes winter nights feel like a Lorde song
from the Pure Heroine era, of course
And sometimes they feel like nothing at all.
Sometimes they feel like the first time you went to Princes Wharf after dark
With the spray picked up by the winter gale and tossed around,
And sometimes they feel like watching the surface water on Wellesley Street
Glisten with the red lights at the four-way intersection.
Winter feels hollow and empty,
Especially compared to the long and roaring summers where you found yourself,
over and over.
Sometimes you look at the sun setting as you get off the train
And wonder how the same world that spawns this cruel and saddening weather
Could be the one which also draws you out of your house
into deep crystal blue waters, and invites you to sunburn because you only live
I’m trying to write about nothing these days
And it’s not working.
When I’m not being a depressed melancholic bitch,
I struggle to feel creative,
And end up restoring to vague bullshit about concepts or sentiments,
like how a winter night feels.
The 7:02 train pulls up,
And you rush onboard to huddle into the back corner seat.
No one gets the train anymore, and you imagine them
driving their Golfs and Polos through the rain.
No one gets the train anymore, so you get to sit alone with your thoughts,
because for once you completed your homework on time.
You get to sit alone with your thoughts, and see the dreary city being woken
by ex-cyclones and the results of climate change.
You get to sit alone with your thoughts, and for lack of something better to do,
you open Pages and start writing about how it’s 5:38 on Easter Monday afternoon.