Measures

Written by: Keith Bickerstaffe


October blows a symphony of sighs 
with blustry gusts that presage winter's bleak 
arrival as I shuffle through the park, 
kaleidoscope of leaves a welcome prize. 
Swings unswung on, roundabouts without 
the rush of children stutter to a halt. 
October blood suffuses to the hilt 
my heavy heart, and calms a soul in doubt. 

Images, bright images that have no 
need of language, the pictures tell the tale, 
a gang of schoolboys, picnic-packed, hale 
and hearty, hoping for a hint of snow, 
their teacher, raven-black, with no command. 
Oaks stand guard, ramrod-straight like sentries, 
rhododendrons, strong and sprawling bushes, 
a place to smoke illicit contraband! 

The dial at sunlight's pleasure points to time, 
the weather vane makes plain the wind's direction, 
no need of clock or any vain contraption 
to guage the day, its reason or its rhyme. 
The stillness of the morning and the day-glow, 
and meadow grasses blessing me with softness, 
the rippled waters thrilling me with sweetness, 
what other measures do I need to know? 

October blows a symphony of sighs, 
of spells and incantations for the wise, 
who, weather-worn and beaten, seek the skies 
or haunt the woodlands for a siren's eyes; 
for nature is the most compelling teacher, 
companion to my father and my mother, 
she cavils, then is kind, just like a brother, 
and binds our earthly tapestry together.