Autumnal Gourd

Autumn, season of your leaving;
Still, these cool crisp mornings
Are relieving and on this day
Unremitting, interceding,
Somewhat less deceiving
Than callow Spring
Or clammy Summer,
Winter being the other season
Of your departing, laid bare,
Apart from occasional snows
To cover distances between
Stark rationales and reasoning
Of these unclothed,
Exhausted lovers,
These seasons, back and forth,
Timeless time, remote
And lacking touch
Or fortuitousness
In any form.

Season of kindling and sparklers,
Of uprisings and people living dead –
I passed one or two in aisle number 9
At my local supermarket as I
Balanced newly arrived varieties
In my basket, of pears
And apples and parsnips;
Butternut, and quince for squash,
And broccoli for a soup;
I search for gourds from abroad
Where vegetables grow
More fleshily, abundantly as
Only a more tolerant
Populous deserves.
On my walk home,
Drenched to the bone
Because I rarely check weather forecasts
For I do not see the point and also
Drenched because I have
An ongoing dispute with umbrellas
(Which is likely to run forever),
I realised that I am
Routinely grieving for
A one-off surface-zero event
Eternalised in pumpkin-coloured ice
And the life of a gingerbread house –
Eat a piece and the walls fall down,
Its roof collapses as though
Stationed just beneath
A recurring, inevitable landslide;
Yellowing leaves drift down
Dumbfoundedly, yet I am
Constantly striving
In battles baked underneath
A sharp Yukon permafrost;
And so each season loses
Or, like feathers, moults
Something of their meaning;
Time becomes,
Instead of a
Celebration as inherently
She should be,
During these feelings
And through exposures
Undergo retrogressions,
Becomes a chore,
A dull surprise,
Like receiving a letter
By post in a brown
Envelope, plastic window,
Probably a bill,
Edges slightly damp,
Or akin, perhaps, to
A toothache.

Even a mild tooth complaint
Tells me I survived.

Yet I cannot help but think that
It was not so much that I chose life,
No, but rather life chose me,
And when you left
And I was bereft,
What else was there to see?


Endless splendour of Autumn,
The most auspicious season;
Summer’s sulphurs banished,
Unhelpful thoughts and reason.

There’s always time for change,
A stillness time surprises;
May truth arraign the meddling way,
Stripped of their disguises.

Distance is no failing,
Our losses are not training
For deathly aisle-bound brides
Dressed in greys and waning.

My favourite season, then;
Cooling, hope adjusts to light;
Heaven’s just as powerful
When at her furthest height.

Horseback Clouds

These new pervasive clouds
From an occluded front
With profuse and broody
Moodiness, as though
Teenage gods
Of atmosphere
Affronted by my summon,
Slowly and somewhat pensively
Clear the thick polluted
Sticky smears of last summer
With puffed-out cheeks
And youthful
Caring less for my ode
To their growing dominion
With a gold-glowing edge,
Truly so overdue
With their contusions,
With their fresh blusters
From the heart of a faraway
Universe, touch me with
Their shadows and replenish
Each bold illusion within me.
These troops on horseback-clouds,
Homesick for deserted towns,
Lovesick for apparitions,
Nostalgic for a rotten drink,
Are very much preferred
And welcomed into
One more day ahead
At my desk,
As I write,
And sleep,
And forgive myself again.

Quicker The Clouds

Quicker the clouds,
Bigger and white
My widened delight,
Then cooling shade
From greys in flight,
Spooling earth,
Reassuring and
Impossibly light.

Then just as soon again,
Your warmth on my back;
There is no lack
Of peace I find
In solitude and
I am truly
Grateful for that,
And for you,
My autumn,
Reaffirming in this
To know I may
One more night.

The Fatalist

Traffic in a far distance,
Autumnal walks in mulch.
I close my eyes and make believe

Those engines are the sound of great waves
Turning on your distant shore,
Where Jura-soul enfolded shoals

Find a foreign form.
Just as I closed my eyes, too,
When for a first time I was struck,

Two contusions, and blinding sores,
Then, I imagined I was deported into a land
Of hair-brained herbivorous dinosaurs

And manticores with massive horns
And grainy giant mammoth jaws.
In front of my mustard eyes

It is always November and raining,
And too often of late
I am straining

To recall
Why I ever
Rewound the parts of it all.

Too often of late
I have found myself
Accepting my fate,

As I close my eyes,
To wait,
And wait.

Limehouse Song

There are many communions
I did not expect,
A dog with feathers,
A heart of regrets.

Paddling pools,
Halls of frogs,
In the smoke
From limehouse logs.

Rainy days will bless,
Invigorate no less
Both my souls
And Wapentake, yes.

There are many confessions
I did not expect,
From Dover Sole drizzle
To waters north of dear Inverness.