The summer is gone, and banished,
Lost in overripe fruitfulness, nothing
But decadence remains in the lacy
Veils of the decaying leaves
A mouldering forgotten bridal costume
Strewn across the ravaged remnants
Of a season so lately passed in picnics
And in hope of better times, when the
Sunshine uplifted and revivified, but
Here, now, as the skeletal branches
Begin to creep, unheeded, advancing
Through the despoiled glamour of the
Leaves that have so lately turned from bright green
Life to the brown orange of nature’s
Mournful shroud, the breath of autumn
Now seeps, lingering, under the shadows
Of the trees, which gave such perfect
Protection not so many months ago,
But now, they crush, pummel, force
Us into the ground, the earth, a misty
Dank pilgrimage, as we turn to the soil
The spoil of descending winter, the
Deathliness that surrounds me in
The ache of the shortening days
And the twilight that meanders
And draws the curtains across the
Forgotten summer,
And I breath the air, and the chill
Rushes through my body, and I am
Then more human, I have become
Alive, and I delight in the foetid
Sparkling of the damp leaves
Glimmering between the pall of
The spiders’ webs, and the tears
Of the sun that has vanished
For another season.
I still live, and I survive
When all around me scatters to the
Earth, summer is gone, and the
Day is darkening, but I face
The night, and life, life is just starting.

Rose Staveley-Wadham