Autumn Poems

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.


Autumn Valentine 

In May my heart was breaking-
Oh, wide the wound, and deep!
And bitter it beat at waking,
And sore it split in sleep.

And when it came November,
I sought my heart, and sighed,
“Poor thing, do you remember?”
“What heart was that?” it cried. 

Dorothy Parker 

Song of an Autumn Night

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. 

Wang Wei


Laden Autumn here I stand
Worn of heart, and weak of hand:
Nought but rest seems good to me,
Speak the word that sets me free.

William Morris 

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. 

                                                           Siegfried Sassoon

Autumn moonlight

Autumn moonlight –
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut

Matsuo Basho

post by Naomi Madelin


Ring up my plea – Guilty As Charged

Something my husband said the other morning, I forget what, annoyed me just a wee bit – which broke a dream I’d been having just before waking.

He’d bought me an engagement ring.

WOW!  We got engaged in 2005 and married a few months later. I didn’t have a ring. We were married with cheap ‘greenstone’ rings partly due to budget, partly timing. The idea was to get wedding rings when we worked out exactly what we wanted – at some relevant time like our wedding anniversary. Time went on….

Anyway, in this dream, he gave me a ring.

I hated it!

In fact, thinking about it, it was pretty cool. But it was diamond and sapphires and I have no especial love for sapphires.

This was like a ring of smooth polished diamond with circles of different coloured sapphires kind of piled onto it.  Very modern. Very architectural. But it was glued with Uhu or something and it all fell to bits. Which left me with just this asymmetrical smooth carved diamond ring, that didn’t glitter.


I felt awful.  Here he was giving me this ring, finally, that he’d had carefully made (only not carefully – he was muttering something about it being just a test one…), but I just couldn’t like it. I knew I should love it, whatever it was, but in my dream I was saying “I just don’t like it. Why would you get me sapphires?  I kind of get that it’s cool, but, I dunno, I just…. I kind of think why bother having diamonds if they’re not sparkly.”  And I felt really mean and ungrateful, but also invisible. How could this man think I would like sapphires and unsparkly diamonds?  Now I’m not a ‘crazy about diamonds’ kind of woman. When we got married I wasn’t into them at all and was quite happy to have a single ring. We talked about having one beautiful ring each, with some kind of design to them. Rings we each liked, that were individual but somehow similar.  We talked about it for a while, then the subject got dropped.  Right around the time the word Love disappeared from our house.

Better or worse?!

Maybe that was why,  as time went on, I thought perhaps a single ring but something with some little diamonds in it, for a bit of sparkly bling.  And then more time passed, and stuff happened, and I started to think “Sod it, I’ll have a big fat sparkly not-blood diamond thank you. Well, a smallish one anyway.”  And why not make it an engagement ring all by its self, after all!  So I showed him the odd pic, dropped the odd hint…  Things turned in a different direction and well, I haven’t bought him a wedding ring (though in my defence I did get him a rather gorgeous greenstone pendant as a wedding present.  He got me… erm… let me think… erm… I’ll get back to you on that one…)

Anyway, here was my ‘dream’ husband presenting me with this engagement ring that was nothing like anything I’d shown him, or talked about. It was like a ring he thought his wife should like, the wife he imagined he had, or maybe wished he had, but not one made with the actual me in mind at all. So it almost felt like an insult rather than a gift. So in my dream I felt rejected and sad.

Now, if I had a ring like that made out of glass, I sure as hell would wear it, for fun, to dinner, to a party. But as an engagement ring? I don’t see an engagement ring as a gimmick, as something to show off how ‘different’ you can be. Of all the jewellery I ever wear I guess I kind of think of wedding and engagement rings as being something more understated, private, personal, discreet.

Funny, I never thought about it before.


But the main thing I’ll take from that dream is to make damned sure that next time I buy something for my husband I make sure it’s the thing HE wants, not the thing I think he ought to have…

Thinking of past gifts, I’m guilty as charged.

(c) Naomi Madelin 2012

Thanks to