Onions, pale globes spread in the sun,
Branches weighted with apples, bend to the grass.
Autumn haunts me, heavy with nostalgia.
It’s chutney time again,
The kitchen thick with simmering goo,
Spicy and pungent.
Time of memory and mellow fruitfulness,
The turn of the leaves
Spinning down to the dank earth
In the last long rays of autumn sun
To be gathered and garnered
Hunted and hoarded
Till the basket is full, pushed down and overflowing.
I could live without Spring, urgent, thrusting, restive,
An itch in the brain that will not go away.
I could survive without Summer.
The reality never quite living up to its promise,
Never quite enough sun, ice-cream, happiness to go round.
I wouldn’t miss Winter; icicles, jingle bells, Christmas toys
Are just a tad overdone once you pass ten.
But Autumn – that’s different, the crown of the changing year
Mature and mellow, brisk and bright, fruitful and fulfilling
Children’s voices echo in the playground, school books are resurrected
Plans are made, resolutions –
“This year I’ll learn Russian, knit myself a jumper
And redecorate the spare room.”
Of course, I don’t do any of these.
But such is the spell of Autumn
For a second I really believe I might.