through the mists of morning among the damp trees.
The notes ripple,
soft as mist winding through damp trees.
in the misty morning silence of this end of year-time
time of so many endings
songs and soft gentle company among these dark damp trees.
Pictures of autumn
The shades of autumn wash across this green
and golden place, with poplar petals strewn, and feathered dancers dark against the sky.
Be-vined and wooden-shuttered, these grey walls
are ivy-fingered. Tendrils poke through frames where rain and insect-pecking birds will creep.
Such quiet in the patter of the drops,
the pewter tumbling from a leaden sky, I hush the birds, their ceaseless, careless calls.
I’d hush the rolling wind that brings the cold,
and still the murm’ring voices of the dead, to let me hear the silence of the trees,
but winter comes on wings and trotting pads,
wolf-fierce, goose-fierce, fanged and falcon-clawed, and we must build our ramparts as we can.
Grey the sky and stone and plumage flying,
dash of red and green, woodpeckers crying, in autumn’s livery, the old year dying.
Walls run with lizard, ladybird, sun-shadows,
stone baking still though the fierce heat has gone, shrinking day by day deeper to the core.
Meadow grass bobs with yellow flower heads,
sunspots, dabs of mauve, clover, thistle, the dash of butterflies.
But wind rattles the drying leaves,
tossing poplar pennies, raining acorns where furtive fur ruffles,
and the lizard lifts its head, sniffing the change,
aeons of memory of the great cold coming, and the dark just beneath the hedge.
Hedge in autumn
The hedge was dense and green through summer,
and at the end hung with red and black, luscious gemmed and fluttering with wings when soft-voiced birds flit, feasting.
And at the end, hung with red and black,
the sumptuous banners of a forgotten king, blackberried and spiked, autumn builds its ramparts,
luscious-gemmed and fluttering with wings.
Turning vines drape purple grapes in gold leaf, hand-prints across the green of oak and elm.
When soft-voiced birds flit, feasting
on hips and haws and plump purple, I know the winter king will soon be holding court.
Blue gold and green, not yet flame
and the burning to ashes of the year.
Sun sails still proud and fierce, but the arc
Is falling into the arms of the trees.
Louis ploughs the bit of field beyond the stream,
turning over chocolate slabs of heavy clay,
drawing furrows of steady tractor noise
through the stillness, projecting into seeded spring,
and in the oak trees by the lane, a hind, wearing
winter acorn-brown, wonders which path to take.
These days of open fields and gentle skies,
flocked with birds and golden flakes, when poplars whisper through their thinning leaves, I look about the blue and empty space to see who creeps the meadow, to see who speaks.
green and blue
through the mist merging ephemera with tree pillars holding up the sky
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.
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.
Sun woman is up in Visual Verse. The image, as so often with this magazine, is full of possibilities, and so appropriate for the season.
You can read my poem
here and you can start reading from page 1 here.