Call me morbid….
…if you like, but when November arrives, I, like many people, start thinking about the year’s demise. All around us, nature is delivering the same message, telling us it’s time to go inside, build a fire, eat nourishing hot food and uncork a bottle of red. Around us the politicians are still wrestling with their coalitions, with budgets and policies, with fiscal and Euro crises. As for me, I’m ready to hibernate like the forest and its inhabitants, ready to hunker down with thoughts, good books and good stories to tell. So indulge me this poetic post. I’ve been fiddling with this poem for years, this being its latest incarnation.
Like lovers bedded ‘neath night’s cloak,
Mist caresses Earth,
Till crows heralding dawn
Cry with startling mirth.
They screech, they circle,
Black dots in the haze,
They light on the oak,
Bare and wizened with age.
Their conclave is brief,
Suddenly they scatter.
A lone duck quakes,
Settling the matter.
Fog fragments rise from folded hills,
Like remnants of a dream.
They disappear when daylight breaks.
They’re seldom what they seem.
Wind whispers through nearby woods.
A scarlet leaf breaks free.
It mounts and hovers, it pirouettes.
A gust carries it off to sea.
My lungs are filled with limpid air.
What scents do I perceive?
Dank leaves embracing forest floor?
Roses hoar-frost filigreed?
Orchard strewn with o’er ripe apples,
Their gifts to Mother Earth?
Crushed chestnuts tread along the path,
Not knowing their own worth?
What weighs upon my heart so heavy?
One more breath, I’m not deceived,
The heady scent of mortality
Is the shroud enveloping me.