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Tag Archives leaves

AUTUMN

When I return with mugs of peppermint tea

you are asleep in the October sunshine –

a fallen golden birch leaf at your feet,

a last wasp buzzing in your shadow.

We have grown old together, ancient

in our ways. But age is a wrinkled

masquerade. ‘Old clothes upon old sticks

to scare a bird,’ as Yeats wrote, at sixty,

a mere stripling. We seem sole survivors

of our youth and prime – so many dead

have fallen by the way.

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WINTER

Footballers in the park grow younger, play

longer into December nights. In my garden,

leaves decompose. Fogs rise to the window.

I see my father’s features in the glass.

 

Gulls are grave, funereal in their white

seriousness. Bad weather visitors,

fickle as spume-flecks, they flitter from grass

into heavy skies, craftsmen in gravity.

 

Winter is too human for comfort.

Natural we should shudder as darkness

drifts in sooner. Ice seasons carry home

truths on incisive air.

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LEAVES AND LOVERS

Somehow, past the custodians, two green leaves
have entered the gallery to lie
side by side beneath Chagall’s ‘Promenade’.
The artist – next to the wedding treasures
higgledy on a red cloth, his feet
almost firmly in the richly green fields
by the piggledy village, his expression
ecstatic and apprehensive – grips
his painter’s bag with his right hand, with his left,
held upright, his wife’s for she is flying
in a purple dress. Soon he may fly too.
Perhaps the leaves have come from the tree
above the nuptial gifts.

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MARCH

It is almost April, but the day before
yesterday hail spattered on the pavings,
lightning fell like a branch, thunder resounded
across the city and the comedy dog,
from two doors down, did his hoarse yip, yap, yap yip.

Yesterday, an east wind shuddered
the cherry blossom and blew the bees awry
and I thought the seasons disjointed.

Today, white blossom and apple-green leaves
formed a bright canopy – and I remembered
a year ago not twenty miles from here
were snowdrifts waist high and tall trees felled.

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WINTER

Footballers in the park grow younger, play

longer into December nights. In my garden,

leaves decompose. Fogs rise to the window.

I see my father’s features in the glass.

 

Gulls are grave, funereal in their white

seriousness. Bad weather visitors,

fickle as spume-flecks, they flitter from grass

into heavy skies, craftsmen in gravity.

 

Winter is too human for comfort.

Natural we should shudder as darkness

drifts in sooner. Ice seasons carry home

truths on incisive air.

share

AMBITION

…autumn from the train…empty parks washed

in melancholy greens…slow smoke of leaves…

a Wendy House toppled…motorists,

on an underpass, stopped for the blue flash

of a passing emergency…doctor

and priest jostling beside the newly born

mess of humanity, head ballooning

with water, back cleaved, a tangle of entrails

and heart booming like presses: the measure

of our compassion…hospitals, chapels,

mills aspiring to grey horizons…

from the train, things in themselves – fallen

leaves, a tumbled playhouse…

 

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