First thrush

First thrush

First thrush
through the mists of morning
among the damp trees.

The notes ripple,
soft as mist
winding through damp trees.

First thrush
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

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.

Wind changes

Wind changes

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

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.

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.