Today is National Poetry Day in the UK, a fact which my Mum alerted me to this morning as we were driving to Sainsburys. We discussed Carol Ann Duffy, poet laureate, who has written a poem for the occasion entitled Atlas. You can send it as an e-card on the National Poetry Day website.

Duffy’s poem definitely captures the theme of this year’s National Poetry Day, which is Heroes and Heroines. When I set out to write a poem once we got back from shopping I didn’t know there was a theme. I sat on a bench in the garden and felt autumn all around. I thought about the changes of the season and the changes my family is going through at the moment.

Specifically, we are moving from Surrey to Somerset, something which has been on the cards for more than two years, ever since my parents bought Perry House in the Blackdown Hills. Now that I’m back from Spain and living with my parents again, I’m right in the middle of this change. I’ll be moving to Perry House, for a while at least, until I set down my own roots and independence again. This move though, it has the feeling of ‘no going back’ about it. The house I’ve lived in since I was ten is being sold, and my family is moving down here for good.

All change!

Change envelops me and envelops the whole landscape at the moment. I wrote Changing Season with this in mind, and I’ve copied it below.

Finally, in the spirit of the occasion, here’s a link to one of my favourite poems, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost.

Happy National Poetry Day, everyone!

 

Changing Season

Autumn air, packed full of earth,
woodsmoke and falling hedgerow harvest
raining, death and life all at once. 

Life, warm within seeds, hidden hearts
that lie in the earth,
dormant –
waiting to burst into life,
struggling to stay alive.

The fight goes out of some.
Time to go, quietly
as the broken branches of
a crippled buddleia lean, haphazard,
marked for amputation.
To lose a limb,
marked for death?
A butterfly bush in its last blooming –
a flotilla of coloured souls vanish.

Cold Autumn scours the soft
and dampens the hardy,
slow rot sets in.

Time to change
as the chill wraps up your skin,
prickling.

The air turns rich and damp as
mist billows in the valley,
the time of year speaking in tongues
of rain and soil.
A new bloom opens,
a dark flower with the scent
of smoke and cloves
and blackberries,
warming you to your
chilly bones.
The beating of your heart,
warm like a bulb
planted in rich, wet earth
and decorated.
Fallen leaves,
red and ochre, blazing orange.
The epitaph of Autmn:
to be reborn,
change.

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