Half an open stable door draws in the day’s warm breath
and sparrows’ squabbling under wooden eaves, flustering as though nesting were not still months ahead.
Azure pales into space. Spindrift clouds
offer no buffer from day star rays fierce on the spent orchard; urging it from cider scented rest and dimming the scarlet gleam between Holly leaves.
Tractor drone from fields away
calls to mind summer-sweet hay not turning cold and dormant soil, distant rooks picking over the leavings of the year – tiny flies on wrinkled skin.
In the strange peace
I am uneasy.
September Journey – a Micropoem
~Polly Oliver (2020)
Gorse on the wind
That tends these old stones.
Cars trickle soundless below,
Mites on the September brown
Skin of bog and moor,
That’s eyed in blue
With a myth-deep pool
Which, unblinking, watches
Centuries counted above
In the husks and discs
Of an aging moon.
Shallow-rooted as bracken-
It’s fire-tinted frond tips
Crackling like autumn flames-
Between sandstone and sky.
Blackberries grow bitter on the branch-
chances missed- they shrivel to gall.
Rosy hips that swelled and bloomed
Wrinkle and blacken; their flash of lipstick red
an aging doxy’s deceit; rotten, obscene close to.
The season’s settling back to reassuring gloom:
the vibrant cheer of the high end of the year
exhausts with the pressure to move forward, to do.
The heavy sky squats down again
and the never-drying puddles in the lane
are stirred to brown by the assaulting rain
which spits its contempt for the passive soil,
absorbing and absorbing
till it can’t hold back tears,
and trickles and floods its dejection
into streams and drains,
bearing the broken flotsam of dying trees
and discarded trash on their final journeys.
Ash leaf and twig sigh their way to soggy decay
Borne along with a sweet paper’s once-bright promise.