Autumn slips in very slowly, and rather late in the year, in the South of France. The two plane trees in the garden are still sprouting and green, although the small oak has decided that it's time to turn. People are still swimming during the day, but the nights are cooler and we tend to move indoors by around 8.30 rather than our usual 11.
I suppose when we think of autumn we tend to think of change: shorter days, trees becoming bare, fires lit for the first time in months. It's a season of things slowing down.
When I lived in the UK I used to look forward to putting on a thick sweater. There's something quite lovely about being encased in thick wool or cotton when it's cold and blustery outside.
The following poem is from a sequence commissioned by Medway Maritime Hospital to accompany a series of artworks you can still see in the Fracture Clinic Waiting Room - 'The Four Seasons' by Tony Crosse.
This is the gathering –
fields grubbed bare
leaf, flower, seed
settled to mulch.
the garden’s ghosts.
We light bonfires
to tempt the sun
but the day’s too full
of doubt. At night
the fox’s scream –
the first cold snap.
The four panels are abstract representations of the seasons and are made entirely from materials used in the Clinic:
Here are some ideas for a poem:
1. Write a haiku with an autumn 'kigo' (season word). There's a two part seminar on writing haiku here.
2. Write about slowness. Research the word first for associated ideas.
3. Find an artwork that you really like and write in response to it. Here's a post that appeared earlier in this blog.
I'm in the UK between 7th and 17th October (and I'm really looking forward to catching up with a few of you) so I'll comment on any poems posted when I get back.