Autumn Separation

At the start, we’re curled up tight, folded into ourselves

Tinged a fresh green, we are soft, formless, developing

Then, as we gently unfold, surfaces open, we reach outward

Stretched to our tips, our colour deepens, vivid

Fully flattened to absorb all light, moisture, experience

Whole and energised, extended we thrill to the breezes

Growing, glowing, nothing lacking, mature

Then, at our peak, we ripen

Our growing slows, changes, and tiny parts unseen die back

Our colour slides to golden hues, bronzes, burnished, beautiful

We sense the pull of separation yet resist, straining to our stem

Holding fiercely with our last gasp to remain attached, connected

But then, detachment

Alone we fall, spiralling, pirouetting, a golden teardrop

Yet caught, and giddy

And differently alive


Autumn’s Farewell

The dawn sky stood grey, and did I discern a pinkish blush?

Blank, unspeaking, awaiting the imprint of day

The trees, silent, poised expectant, ready to tremble at the command

And when it came, all quivered in unison, thrilling at a chilled caress

Soon, soon, they thought, a blast will strip us of our summer burdens

And we, released, will commence our departure

Not embarrassed by our nakedness

Unafraid of frigid fingers or icy breezes

For we will slip down, unperceived, a sliding withdrawal

Seeping into the core of ourselves

Tentacles retracting, liquid pooling

Deep into our warm heart

There to solidify

Centred, strong

Storm-stilled, peaceful


Harvest Moon

And going back, my eyes drank in a poet’s moon

Gold, and bold, and stipple-streaked with grey

Thoughts un-numbered filled my clouded heart

Stumbling stones collected through a troubled day


Yet the dinner plate cut through the indigo

Stark, and cold, but warming nonetheless

Speaking eloquent, of seasons richly crowned

Moments though unleashed to harm us, still could bless


Lives are tribulation-filled, but joys abound

We, enduring, run from tear to laughter

Cyclical, the harvest must return

Kindling hope, to heal forever after


When all the world was new

And hopes and dreams abounded

When every day would start afresh

With every fear unfounded

The taste of life a thrill

With every sinew humming

Alive with every breath and step

And all your fingers strumming

Just happy to exist

No hankering after fame

No inkling of a bucket-list

Those days, you overcame


If your life was always golden

If the sunrays always warmed your brow

If your closed eyes bathed in splendour

And your head reclined on silken pillow now

If your days were giddy dancing

All the partners smiled a sweet caress

All your vistas high and awesome

And achievements decked your days with cleverness

If no dark shone in your brightness

With no taint of malice ever on your tongue

Life would be a golden wonder

Not in this life would you find yourself, my son

In Hiding

I resurrect my wall of sin

To keep folks out and hem me in

So dark and sinuous it grows

Destroying dahlia and rose

To crush my hopefulness and thanks

And hold me fast in mis’ry’s ranks

So I in writhing discontent

Am frail within my putrid tent

Arranged around me by defiance

My self-inflicted sin alliance

But will I grasp the hands that reach?

Him only, with the power to breach

And eyes to penetrate that wall

And catch me

Ere I truly fall


Courage is living firmly in the face of imperfections

Dealing daily with disasters small and large

Reaching resolutely outwards when we’d rather curl up cringing

Working wisely while aware we’re not in charge


Overcoming shame and sadness to achieve beyond our limits

Unbelieving yet believing deeper still

Learning how to dodge the pitfalls or perceiving them as platforms

Using setbacks as a springboard for our will


Being human, feeling fragile, never certain, living hopeful

These are challenges we constantly must face

As we hourly add our outcomes and subtract the misadventures

There are moments when we recognise the grace


The After-light

The after-light amazed them
So golden, minted, new
It bathed all life in glory
Perceived by just a few
While most continued guileless
Oblivious to the glow
For those transfixed, it called to them
A mesmerising show
Their eyes were wide , expectant
Their breathing fixed in time
No history, no future
Secure in the sublime
The everyday forgotten
All wondering forestalled
Their being not a conscious act
As they all stood, enthralled
Then, shaken in an instant
The golden rapture left
And all resumed their wandering
sleepwalking, but bereft

Church Lane

Littered, puddled roadway
Stripped in shade and light
Leading on to Destiny
Leading where it might
Weaving past a badger set
Past an owl’s perch
Aimlessly meandering
Past cottage, farm and church
Littered, puddled roadway
Bound t’ward good or ill
I will take your twists and turns
Take me where you will