For ten years I missed Autumn. My favourite season. Even the damp English days bring me some kind of nonspecific peace. Something to do with the freedom of nature. Being out in chill air. The honest smell of mulching leaves. Memories of chilly walks to school when I was small, innocent and unencumbered.
To be honest there are a few too many of these damp days for my liking! Returning to England I realise how much I have become accustomed to the warmer climate of northern New Zealand this past decade. But in that largely evergreen place I missed the leaves turning, the colours that warm you even when the air is near freezing, the comforting sound of the leaves underfoot and the sheer joy of kicking through them in wellies and warm socks.
I thought I’d gather together a Autumn few poems that resonate with me and share them. There is one that I found years ago and had taped inside my filofax (that’s some pre-iPhone tech!) for a few years, but I can’t find it. I think the poet’s name was Mark something… Clues anyone? I’ll keep hunting and post it when I find it.
Being a lover of haiku, I had to include Matsuo Basho’s delicious little nut at the end.
And when it came November,
I sought my heart, and sighed,
“Poor thing, do you remember?”
“What heart was that?” it cried.
Under the crescent moon a light autumn dew
Has chilled the robe she will not change —
And she touches a silver lute all night,
Afraid to go back to her empty room.
October’s bellowing anger breaks and cleaves
The bronzed battalions of the stricken wood
In whose lament I hear a voice that grieves
For battle’s fruitless harvest, and the feud
Of outraged men. Their lives are like the leaves
Scattered in flocks of ruin, tossed and blown
Along the westering furnace flaring red.
O martyred youth and manhood overthrown,
The burden of your wrongs is on my head.
Autumn moonlight –
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut
post by Naomi Madelin