The hemisphere reclines, skittling the sun
Towards its winter wanness. A dawn bar
Of lemon light descends facades and dun
Windows erupt. Mercury dew on car
And hedge embodies the high flat sky where jet
Tracks stipple the cloth-thin blue. A transhumance
Begins, archaic and grim. Howling regret
The swifts have fled. Coal tits feed in a trance.
By afternoon an Indian warmth has builtAnd sea winds thresh the tamarisk. Inland,
Butterflies dither between the rattling quilt
Of sweet pea and violet scabious, japanned.
Fruits firm. Blackberries at the line side glowOff-limits. The dusted bilberry is shy,
The glossy rosehip brash; glimmers the sloe;
The tree fruit though is hard and green, still dry.
Die-back sets in. Hibiscus loses bulk;Once more lost pots wink through the whiskery grass;
Moisture is lost – the ligamented hulk
Of bramble quivers its limbs under the brass
Harvest moon. Harvest home! Church bells call outIn short-lived homage, but the golden gleams
Of summer turn matt and autumn’s redoubt
Of plenty is mined by shivering dreams
Of starving villeins gleaning ice-hard tillage:Against winter, men gather wood and knowledge.
====================© September 2012