Variation on the theme of autumn

bare trees


Variation on the theme of autumn                  

What it is to introduce
                   a new text into the world
free from the fret
                   of fear and hate
I have seen the sycamore
                   the beech and silver birch
stripped to their boughs
                   as a wind blew in from the East
and a flurry of tiny birds
                   caught in a sudden gust
before their final departure

This is autumnal abandonment
                   the first shivers of the year end
plumes of smoke
                   rising above the houses
as every step hastens
                   one would hope
homeward to a smile
                   and a warm supper

In the woodlands
                   the last chromatic burst
has been neutralized
                   and expectation now rests
on the buried seed
                   that will rise to pierce
the transparent air
                   in spring

And yet the withered rose
                   it would seem
has outstayed its welcome
                   as nature reinvents itself
in the guise of the poor
                   of the dispossessed
of those by force of circumstance
                   obliged to live
colourless thankless lives

What currency rules
                   this bitter world
of inequalities ?
                   What canker lies
at the heart of communities
                   that disown their own ?
And where are we to find
                   the necessary angels
of the earth
                   those not stiffened
by the pangs of greed
                   those with uncurdled hearts
who believe in the reality
                   of harsh realities ?

Nature is the great leveller
                   and months of austerity
will yield in time
                   to the bliss of abundance
the speech of truth will thrive
                   and the peace of intelligence
will dismount the stars
                   and share the fruits
of their energy
                   among one and all
and nothing will be lost

John Lyons


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