As the days shorten and skies darken
Greenwich meantime feels like a lean time.
With a heavier coat I go out scarfed,
my hat pulled down, to find those last leaves
compact in corners and crevices.
With whitening fingers gloved I crouch
and pluck them for leaf mould; while wood lice
watched by a robin, head cocked, alert,
are plucked as he darts for a morsel,
as blackbirds too pluck the last berries.
As a north-easterly blast attacks,
it is time to retreat from the chill
wind into a defensive shelter,
to sharpen secateurs for pruning
apples, blackcurrants and gooseberries.
Winter battles as the rain rattles
on the windows, probing and testing.
I bring in some logs and lay the fire –
match to kindling it begins to roar.
Now dusk it's time the curtains to draw.
Hot drink clasped, I behold a new moon
crescent up into a clearing sky.
There beneath the starlit canopy
snowdrops begin to poke through the grass
as if to reflect the countless stars.
In the morn I rake moss from the lawn
to keep warm – it pays to keep moving –
with aconites as if acolytes
soon to join a vernal procession
into the promise of renewed life.
Copyright © Lisle Ryder | Year Posted 2018
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