Saturday, 28 March 2015

Shades of Early Autumn

Autumn….my favourite season, though this year it seems to have decided to make its entrance a little early and take us by surprise. From working in the garden in a tee shirt a couple of weekends ago, to donning a winter woolly jumper during the week, Tassie is doing its thing, messing us about. And it’s not only the human occupants who are wondering about the seasonal cycle, even some plants are confused with bright warm sunshine one day, chilling winds the next. A friend has a plant that is simultaneously displaying its autumn colours while sending out new shoots as if it’s spring. I poke my head out from behind the blind each morning like the poor plant, wondering what is the appropriate apparel for the day.
I do like the fact though that the grass has finally recognised it’s time to slow down and not demand to be mowed so often. Preparations for the approaching months are underway with firewood stacked, though I have refused to succumb to the temptation over the last few cold evenings to light the fire. It’s only March I keep saying, I shouldn’t have to light the fire for almost another month yet, so I hope it’s not a foretaste of a long cold winter, but even that I have to admit I really wouldn’t mind.

The sun is actually shining today, hardly a cloud in the sky after these few grey days, so I might as well make the most of it and get out in the garden to mulch and prune and help it prepare for hunkering down and braving the frosts and bitter winds that are to come.

The poplars are always the first to let us know the cycle of the seasons is moving on, lining the edges of the surrounding country roads as they shed their leaves, and as others show the first signs of yellow and orange, russet and red, I thought I’d pull out a poem penned last year.


Jars with orange screwtop lids
stand in a row
side by side
neatly under the kitchen window.
Ginger biscuits, salted nuts
crackers and soft dried apricots.
Ripe red apples,
pears and autumn mandarins,
Imperials mind you, only ever Imperials
fill the bowl on the bench.
What delight to peel their thin loose skin
and fill the air
with such delicious sweetness.

Sparks fly
as a log shifts in the fire
and a shaft of sunlight
heralds the passing
of the morning shower,
beckoning me outside.
No warmth there
but its brightness touches the leaves
of the liquidamber
tinges them with gold
shines seductively scarlet
on the stately maple,
suffuses the air
with a blood orange glow.

One by one
in twos and threes
the embers of my burning bush
fall soundlessly
soft under my feet,
a sacred orange carpet
for my cold bare feet.

© Di Adams   2014