Through an autumn window


Summer is over now;
The chill kiss of winter is stayed –
– somewhere to the north, and faraway, in frosted time.
It’s late afternoon – and the sun sets – in autumn.

From my window, and quite nearby,
the silver birch is turned to gold;
The tall tall birch stands in quiet fire –
the birch I planted years ago.

It glitters – and now reminds me, strangely,
of lost treasure chests, all open –
and filled with coins a’sparkle and polished gleaming –
But then a zephyr stirs –
And, one by one, a few leaves fall:
They fall to earth and cast a magic carpet
upon the soft mown grass.

I gaze – and wonder …

And so the leaves lie still – like fallen soldiers –
– just as the poet said.

But, more: a blue smoke from distant bonfires
drifts and ghosts the pale clear sky
in shapes – to mourn the dead and dying.

Just then, a silken mist rises from the fields,
and, against the dying light, a happy band of goldfinches
arrives to dance atop the tall tall birch.

I smile: They’ve saved the last dance – just for me.

1 thought on “Through an autumn window”

  1. Well done, Rob.
    You have found your voice.
    Keep it up.
    PS I just went to a day on Edward Thomas, held at Rewley House in Oxford. He found his voice as a poet in 1914, I gather – and had three years to write good poetry, before dying at the battle of Arras in 1917. He last lived at Steep, amongst the Hampshire Hangars: and was a friend of W H Hudson. Strange how things coincide!

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