In the air

Photo ©Beverly Orozco


No darker than the last night,
no colder beneath the same stars
and flood-lit moon,

but the leaves have lost their voices
once fallen, and the drifts crisped dry again
beneath a tardy sun

await the wind that comes from the north,
carrying unflinching skeins of geese,
and sweeps with relentless strokes
before the sill of winter.

Dying back

window wet

The jaunty cheerfulness of wildflowers blown,
flown with the swift, silent swooping of the swallows.

Brown stalks stand still,
though the rot has taken the juice from them,
stark reminders of what has gone,

and only hope in the hypothetical return
of the warm certainties of what once was,
lingers among damp roots,
burrowing deep into the cold earth.


No autumn this
chill and solid rain
no mellow fruitfulness of fruit
already fallen shrivelled in the heat
the brusque shift brutal

the slope too steep
we shiver
no autumn flame fading
from fierce to mild memory

leaves blown already brown
sink beneath the torrents
to an ignoble end
sludge beneath heavy boots.

The ocean rises these days
to wash away the sun
the dust of summer
with melted ice in its breath
the ground bones of glaciers

and the world changes
the rough beast we have woken
slouching not to be born
but to devour our prattling
and sabre-rattling idiocy.

Gogyohka: autumn rain


I look for light where there is none,

taste the wind

for a salt memory of the sea

and touch the wild grasses

for the fleeting presence of a hare


wind blows

full of damp grey ribbons of cloud

streaks and shafts of steely grey

rain-wet and dew-wet

and a scattering of noisy finches


dusk seeps and creeps

beneath the cloud

between the rain drops

among the raggedy grass soldiers

still standing

Haibun for a change in the air


The season is changing. The rich summer ending and memories of bitter winter ruffling feathers and fur. The trees around the house are full of songbirds again and a blackbird has made his HQ above the nail where the bird feeder will hang. A hare appears now each evening, coming closer to the house, squirrels chase beneath the oak trees where deer shelter, and in the evening, the dark is charged with owls’ cat-calls and foxes barking at the new moon.

changed air

heat gone from the gold

falling leaves

dance with birds

all finding their place