To the LIght of September

I love early Autumn, just as it turns. The light is slant and golden and there is a dampness in the mornings. At dawn, the windows are slick with dew and trees near our house are loaded with plums, pears and walnuts that have not fallen.

The nights come in, quietly with a grace to them. The air is more mineral and the light grainier,  rationed.

Another thing: the spiders, poised and present, between bins and branches and doors. 

There is a delicacy in these first weeks of Autumn, of leaves and seed heads holding on with a dignity of form. Teasel. Of outlines and structures and a falling away of dressings, ribbons and leaves.

Anyway, a time of beginnings and also reckonings; more so than January. 

I thought I'd share this beautiful poem that captures the qualities of this time of year -  I like the way it directly addresses September. Another lovely poem is Ted Hughes' October Dawn, but October seems far's to September, walking away with her back to us, with skirts of trailing leaves.

To the Light of September

When you are already here
you appear to be only
a name that tells of you
whether you are present or not

and for now it seems as though
you are still summer
still the high familiar
endless summer
yet with a glint
of bronze in the chill mornings
and the late yellow petals
of the mullein fluttering
on the stalks that lean
over their broken
shadows across the cracked ground

but they all know
that you have come
the seed heads of the sage
the whispering birds
with nowhere to hide you
to keep you for later

who fly with them

you who are neither
before nor after
you who arrive
with blue plums
that have fallen through the night

perfect in the dew
Source: Poetry (September 2003).


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