Here is a selection of my poetry for SEPTEMBER
Towan from the Stubble Field - Ben Taffinder
Fat blackberries had caught the starlings’ eyes
And soon the walls and cars bore purple stains;
Dark elderberries, hung beneath clear skies,
Will swell with night-time’s gentle showers of rain.
The combines are out harvesting the fields –
A golden stubble greets the setting sun;
The farmer is delighted with his yield,
Returning geese are pleased when job is done.
First windfalls in the grass beneath mossed trees
As hazelnuts are plumping on the bough;
While on the quiet air the drone of bees
And, in the distance, gently lowing cows.
These are the sights and sounds that end this day –
With season’s fullness, August slips away.
September sun is slow to greet your day,
already acer shows a blush of red.
Though summer is not done it starts to fade,
yet roses are in bloom and softly spread
their bridal whiteness high on sun-kissed walls
to gently resist an early Fall.
Solitary, the robin sits
And hears the apple's muffled fall;
In twos white butterflies persist
With fading buddliea by the wall.
Though air is cooling, still the sun
Keeps insects busy round the flowers
And we can laze where water runs,
Rejoicing in these stolen hours.
In clustered bales are held the seasons’ days –
Formed through the year, now turned to autumn’s hay.
Summer’s still not done, though flowers fade,
Blood red poppies here and there still show
Before the gold of autumn starts to glow
From hedgerows and tall trees –
This is September.
HAIKU FOR THE EQUINOX
Outside my window
Fat blackberries ripening -
Try one, taste the sun!
SUMMER SUN, AUTUMN MOON
As September slowly fades
you still enjoy the Summer’s heat.
From Mykonos you send to us
photos of a setting sun:
a fiery, blazing, molten ball
slowly extinguished in the Med.
You talk of coming Autumn storms
predicted for the Cyclades,
and wonder if the gale force winds
will stop your island flight.
Back here we watch a harvest moon
rise from the waves of Falmouth Bay
sending a pathway of cold light
to silver every passing swell,
make silhouettes of lonely boats.
Beneath trees heavy with fruit :
An apple, discarded in the grass,
Crimson, yellow streaked, speckled.
Viewed from this side, spherical and whole.
Here magical deception :
Fruit beguiles the eye but not the hand.
No solidity, weightless;
Leathery, light of skin : an empty husk.
Tree born, the apple endured
Through June when Codling caterpillar
Bored a home in this fruit's heart.
To the grass it fell, tiny grub-hole
Soon enlarged as probing birds
Hunt moth's pink offspring. Crisp juiciness
Now exposed, white apple flesh
Attracts the earwig and wasp; the ants
Complete the job of stripping
To the skin this apple in the grass :
Few noticed that surprising change –
the grassland gone where larks had been,
poppies and vetch lost to the plough –
a new crop planted in neat rows
that soon grew strong and tall and green.
Puzzled, the lonely walker paused
to find a clue to what grew here –
each passing day the new buds swelled
until, in early morning sun,
the nature of the crop was clear…
Sunflowers broke in ones and twos,
lifting their faces to the sky
till quickly, as the week went on,
their patch of land burned like the sun,
a golden multitude on high.
Across the valley, from the hill,
this splash of yellow light appeared
as golden faces tracked the sun…
And people came from all around
to stand in wonder and be near.
Within two weeks the crowd had gone
as flowers wilted in the rain,
their golden petals stripped by wind;
October saw each face turned down
as if lost beauty caused them pain.
Gaunt, grey stalks in November frost,
seed heads rattled by fierce, short storms,
the landscape bleak, the days grown short –
few passers-by would now be seen –
though some recalled when days were warm…
These visitors soon found this site –
remembered sunflowers in their prime –
bluetits and finches, sparrow flights
flocked here in droves by hunger’s need…
enjoyed the real sunflower time.
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