Autumn: Fall II and III
Let the indolent seasons turn their way;
The orb in space is spinning round the sun and
we ourselves our respective lives, live .
Time ' from now, this autumn parting,
with browning leaves we leave and fly,
separate, disconsolate '
He will wend his weary path .
We stumbled to that cliff, at last,
and gazed shell-shocked over a land hazy-gold
unclear in our minds which
way was best to tread. The hills we felt
were too high to climb; the way down too
Turning our backs to the sunlight we sat
instead amongst the shadows. Your
hand, warm, dry, slightly calloused
felt hard, distant.
Here under the branches of the
ash, with her eyes to the peppered
His hand through the gap between the
white buttons of her shirt restless, seeking the
warmth of skin beneath; his face
A hatchet, inscrutable, waiting for her
To reveal some unexpressed answer.
Love me here in the grass and pay no
mind to the thorny brambles
Snaking through the leaf-mould; my
mind is at rest,
the only sense is of your gaze
your breath, the rasp of your cheek,
your mouth soft, suppliant.
God, these moments are too few,
too few for a lifetime ' the years
flow between and we are left
scrabbling together the pieces as we may.
He moved his eyes from her ' the slopes
Of her body which
his hands, unfamiliar,
Sought to encapsulate in undulating curves,
curves of hills, valleys of fragrant skin,
his eyes moved to the trees beyond
her, seeking some resolution
in their stalwart trunks,
to their tryst, golden-green leaves
twittering and fluttering their collusion. What
solution could there be? But the one already
chosen ' hearts, aflame, betrayed, the
need for order overriding the chaos
of impulse, of desire.
It proved too much, and cowering,
he yearned to place his feet back on the
road of sensibility. But she, insolent
sylph-like in that grass '
How he would take her! There in the eyes
of those whispering trees he would take her!
The stones under his knees would
turn their faces and
he would seek
her softness; her hair
Wind-blown waves would
Spill, fall, to conceal them from sight.
The ashes and the beech, the
Gamble's oak and knotty pine '
That warm afternoon in early September,
their sap slowly settling in to
tangled roots, preparation for slumber,
another sleep in the waning of the year '
and the woman and the man
tangled root-like beneath. Amused,
the pine whispers to the ash, who whispers to the oak,
who whispers to the beech and the stones and the stubble in the field '
The air is filled with rustling gossip. The
woman looks up from her embrace,
heavy-eyed, smiling: she knows
they whisper. For a
moment she rests her head on her
outstretched arm, her hair, long waves,
weaves roots into the grass beneath.
And on him my hands roam in random
Brush-strokes, sweeping over his ribs
and between his shoulders. They light in
The hollow of his hipbone and he waits
strung wire-tight in anticipation
of my touch. When I grasp him he
gasping grabs my hands and
rolls me over, away - and holds me
separate from him. I look at him
buries his face in the cushion of my
hides there a moment .
I mutter to her, I have to leave and leave her behind, and
realise I make no sense' she stares,
into the waving branches above, then
rolls away and heaves a sigh.
Climbing to their feet together they
pick the grass from one another's hair and clothes. She moves to
kiss him again, her mouth a pink blossom. He kisses her quickly and
He pushes her from him. She sees that
He, indefinably, has already gone; her desire for
him a cinnamon candy burning
her mouth, but
the sun is getting lower and the fields,
shorn short and stubble-filled, grow long shadows.
The scent of cinnamon still clinging to her blouse she
hops the ivy-filled ditch to stand on the path, unsure;
which way to go? Which way but forward? Hopeless, it was. She felt
remote, a distant galaxy, something like a star
pulsing, humming, moving, and yet
her hand in his felt dry, sheaves of
barley like those rent at his feet.
Through dry lips he struggled to
explain: the late summer sun, the laughing trees,
the scent of grass and the sheen of sweat on her neck '
all wrong, all wrong, there must be Order! It must be so.
All those things: that sun, those trees,
that scent that feel that love
he stumbles away. I see him
and say nothing. Silence is its own advocate;
there is nothing I would add to help or hinder.
the trees are silent, hush
can you hear the orb spinning through space round the sun?
the indolent seasons turn their way and we,
like browning leaves we blow,
our respective lives, living.