I don’t think a year goes by without me trying to write poems about spring and autumn, for me they are seasons that are constantly inspiring in their changes, they are frameworks to hang ideas upon, ideas about being human, about the beginnings and endings of our own lives.
This poem was written at least fifteen years ago, it could be more, and like the poems I wrote then it was free verse. I think I had my late mother in mind somewhere in this poem, and in its elegiac quality it may have something to say to those who mourn.
My hands are bark and twigs,
while warm flesh and muscle
glove your fingers.
I can feel the pulse,
the summer movement of blood through
the root of your thumb,
see it beneath your skin.
We stand in an open doorway,
leaves like rusty terriers tumble
under white boned birches,
quarrelling at their tips,
and branches are clotted
with crimson berries and scarlet hips.
And through the pewter of and autumn sky
in a temporary torch beam of sunshine
I see fruit, like yellow light bulbs,
amongst the half-stripped silver leaves
of an apple tree nearly over.
But you have to go.
Stay a moment more with me,
Warming my hands in yours,
Before howling, I blow into winter.
From kindle book, ‘A Bit of an Ice-breaker’, Valley Press