Transcriptions of Autumn


all summer they drank the sun
now dry
leaves touch skin and bone
what remains

we talk too much remember too much

wind picks up
the world is emptying
earth opens its black heart

what islands
on the other side


Going Home in Autumn

This bent and pitted road
eases through the fall
into ochre jubilation.

Strange and warm -
to have arrived where mapping ends
and nothing next can begin


Human Nature

Our troops hold fast in winter,
advance and attack in spring.
Then planners, merchants, showgirls.

They can’t hear the drum of autumn
beating like some ancient heart.
It’s more a rhythm than a sound.

The elders learned to welcome it.
There’s silence between the drumbeats
where promises fade out.

Time to look up –
and wonder at the hot red flush
on the screen behind the stars.


The Academy of Leaves

Thoughts that swell into beliefs
are yet too green.

The light that slides to grey
more fully senses ground:

as the sun grows cool
and the leafing urge is burning out
earth must be acknowledged.

Its loamy paws will turn things over,
analyse the fiery tones.

By December every page is blank.

Our part must be devotion.


Winter Knocking

a dull light is gathering power
the window won’t close snug enough

frost at the ready sharp-eyed
the cops are at the door

stash golden days deep in your heart
act normal

we got away with them for so long
the sunny indulgences

of playing under open skies
a cold clear rule is closing in

so get small hunker down
chew the old truths into a nest

until through the childless city
the piper returns

and with squeaky voices
we can scurry out

wild and hungry and messy as spring.


Rain Chorus

always grey
always clear

to the inconsolable
we murmur welcome

remember you are water

all land burns


Evening walk

along the dirt track
between the houses and the trees

the gone world posts its signs
of what you can’t or need to do

best travel with the leaves
bursting with all we become

every autumn so far
the evening receives me
it is neither eager nor remote

but its grey blue impartiality
accepts the tangle and weight
of years that make no sense

a shadow jogs in front of me
it scratches at the earth
like a dog at the back door

then halts
sensing the whistle of light

my faceless head
unlocks and turns

into the flood of the wide-eyed moon

Posted: Sun 2 Dec, 2018