Poems Renaming Autumn

Sam Smith
3 December

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A Time for Letting Go

Winter’s grip cold promise holds,
we trust, believe life will return
concentric circles neatly frame
that we are safe, all will be well.
Spring’s thrusting lust brings bud through fruit
each plant flower tree a glory rush.
Now splendour spreads, strong forward-feel
brings Summer hope, a banquet laid.
We feast, don’t hear the knell of change,
still warm with growth daft bodies bask
with senses drunk from sunny milk
we dance and dance for all our lives.
Like leaf, we came from cell grown large,
displayed our wares of worldly charm
‘til sap is spent, a last hurrah
as silent scorched confetti falls
and rains on earth time-soaked with truth.
Each drop, like us, will not return
and I must watch be-spelled by love,
before I learn to

William Otto
15 November


Halloween, and time is bookended,
Easter’s buttress but a hope.
Our views compressed into furrows,
Their black bible tops spreading
Unholy, even as they cool, solidify.

Rustling leaf-coats, once littering, flittering,
Now rot oozily where mushrooms peep.
Our visual ravines grow steep,
Escape disappears upwards, cloudy,
Till its winter laugh winds us in.

Summer, memories merged,
Volatile, where freedom lay
On downy mossy warmth,
Now in its icy sheath, cringing,
Foetal, perchance to trap fleeing fervour.

We wake to a clouded dusk,
Its night prolonged by screeching
Parliamentarians, their maiden speech
Hollowing ear-canals, bristling napes.
Pipistrelles doze, paralysed in slits,
Locked-in, gambled on waking,
Opposites to bees’ cosy cluster.

Ankles await socks to avoid rigidity.
The misty murk sneaks under scarves,
Goose-bumps relax with heartbeats
Striding for horizons to soothe the eye.
On a hilltop, freezing furrows below,
We seek the future, certainty, promise.

The chances are slim.

William Otto

Annie Ellis
14 November 

Old English for august.

It’s a busy time of the year
nature sends out her free gifts
to feed the hungry for winter.

Wild boars feed contently on acorns,
a change from the truffles they found before.
Squirrels skitter about for them,   
hiding them under copper leaves     
never finding them again.
If the jay is lucky, he will take a feast.

Hawthorn’s rosy colours attract small birds and thrushes.
Skins to be pecked and peeled.
Hawfinches like the dusty blue of blackthorn sloes
and blackbirds, robins and starlings love
the soft flesh of fallen apples.

The bulbus eyed dormouse loves blackberries,
taking a drupelet from the torus in his hands
he gorges on the black juice.
Badgers and deer pull clusters from the knitted thorns.
While we, blooded and scratched
carry home to add to pies, crumbles, jam and wine.

Vicky Hampton

12 November

The Turning

So, in the last days, as the bean-
wind drops and October frogs hide
for winter, we see odd things, you and I.

In the garden, there is green spring yet
– warm beds of buds and ant swarm –
but, on the hill, a cold sun, still high,
and on the hedges like fool’s gold.

It clings to the old man’s beard, burnishes
cloisters of copper cob nuts, and drips
down to the muddled worm emerging
from the soil’s mould, teases the fields’
secreted seeds to deceitful sprouting.
The shattered teasels shake their heads.

Leafless trees relinquish last damsons;
they run jackdaw black in our hands.
And now, in the turning, as clocks go back
for bonfire skies and pumpkins,
dark comes in with damp’s creep.

And yet the stilling year will somehow fall only half asleep.

Marilyn Timms

8 November

Roman Harvest Goddess

Fanfares are silenced now,
the harvest home;
the goddess, already half-forgotten,
is returning to the soil.
She carries the brown stench of decay,
of impending death.
Only her eyes are alive,
cradling the last of the sun.
Falling leaves whisper This is not the end –
Remember her!

Annie Ellis

8 November


She lay across the forest hills
shape shifting the colours.
Her skin echoed the shades
of Autumn.

Her restlessness grew
shaking the trees in protest,
scattering the carpet
that grew from nature’s loom.

Like the invisible sky
that took the blue from space
she moved, changed the spectrum
of the fall, leaves swung as they fell,
chameleon scales rippling.

Howard Timms

7 November


That fall started in September
narrow leaves, rejected
scatter sparsely on the floor.

My body is a pine tree
slender trunk, long arms
all foliage on its crown.

Collecting abandoned needles
assorted length, some curved
I ponder their silvery colour.

Perhaps I should recycle
rot them, make some compost

I wonder over breakfast.

Porridge and orange juice lead
to a bomb-shaped chemo tablet.
Robot-like, it rumbles
from stomach around my body.

Exfoliate this dalek shrieks.
Obedient, my skin peels
or rips, oozes red sap.

I plaster each new lesion
reach down, grab fallen hair
look out at my family of trees.

The huge beech tree is shedding
not silver or gold, rich copper.
Foliage flutters down.

Ivor Daniel

29 October

Late apple time

Birds return
from somewhere.
Leaves are
brown and yellow.

I watch
the last wasps
of summer,
the first wasps
of Autumn.
I leave them alone.
They reciprocate.

What thoughts
go through
wasp sleep-seasoned minds?

Late apple orchard afternoons,
absent friends,
misspent stings
and lost time?

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