And After Autumn Winter Comes

Rating: 4.0

Soft-footed as a mother when her child’s asleep
So gentle autumn tiptoes in unseen
To take the summer’s place. We are surprised
Each year to find the nights now cool, the evenings
Shorter. Yet signs there are for all to see:
The morning mists, the spiders’ webs that hang
Their looping ropes of pearls to shake and tremble
In the silver light, the bright and golden fields
Of summer corn replaced by shining stubble,
And all too soon the plough and fresh-turned clay,
Along the hedges hips and haws gleam red
While purple elder fruits droop down in bunches,
A feast of welcome for the winter thrushes.
Now in the fields the birds begin to flock—
Rich golden plovers, lapwings, gulls—while rooks
Take to the sky in clouds like scattered leaves
That soon the equinoctual gales will tear
From twig and branch to dance along the lanes,
And over the plains and rolling hills of England,
Then when the days begin to fade, far off
We hear the heavy tread of dread November
And smell the smoke of smouldering leaves, and him,
The guy we burn each year in sacrifice
To grim King Winter, waiting in the wings.

Philippa Lane 19 March 2005

Oh, how I love it. Such nostalgia! I used to so enjoy Guy Fawkes' Day with the spinning Catherine wheels. This poem just lets me soak in the beauty of the English countryside - so dear to my heart. Thank you for writing it.

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Robert Howard 26 November 2006

This poem like so many you have written sings from beginning to end. I'm with Susie. When's the novel coming out?

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Emma Johnson 03 March 2006

Have you contemplated writing novels? Such descriptive power!

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Raynette Eitel 27 May 2005

This is like a lovely painting with a cold blast of air for realism. Autumn is my favorite time...but I don't fear winter any more, now that I live in the desert. Thanks for sharing this. Raynette

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Sylvia Spencer 02 April 2005

I like season poems, when I read them you get such a lovely feeling that makes you feel that it is good to be alive. This one did just that. cheers sylvia

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Scarborough Gypsy 28 March 2005

I agree with Philippa, your description of those frosty colourful days is beautiful. Even makes me home sick.

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