Friday, September 02, 2011

Welcome back to AppleHouse

And welcome to September.

How is yours? I've had two September experiences so far. Both in one day. I left Kent, UK yesterday which was a surprisingly summery 20 degrees and a welcome comparison to the wet and cold August. The change in the weather made me want to stay longer but the flight was booked and we took off from London City Airport, flew east along the Thames and out over the southernmost part of the North Sea.

1 hour and 50 minutes later we landed at Nice and drove to Antibes where it was 32 degrees and sunny, but so humid. This morning I couldn't tell where the wet quilt cover ended and I began as I struggled to lift it over the washing line.

Coming back to France in September meant I missed most of our crop of figs. I took a bowl of them back to Kent and left instructions with my cat and house sitter to help herself to whatever ripened in my absence.

All that's left now are a few, small late ripeners. September is too late for them. I missed their best time.

Here's a poem called 'September' by Linda Pastan, a poet I've previously introduced on AppleHouse Poetry


it rained in my sleep
and in the morning the fields were wet

I dreamed of artillery
of the thunder of horses

in the morning the fields were strewn
with twigs and leaves

as if after a battle
or a sudden journey

I went to sleep in the summer
I dreamed of rain

in the morning the fields were wet
and it was autumn

from Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968-1998
W.W. Norton & Company, 2009

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September is our ninth month but takes its name from 'septem'/seven as it was the seventh month in the Roman calendar.

We tend to associate September with autumn but in the Southern hemisphere it's the beginning of spring.

September was always a mark of going back to school. More recently it reminds me of 9/11 and the attack on the Twin Towers.

Write about September, or the shift from one month to another. Or dreaming. Or waking up. But anchor your poem to a particular time of year.

Write well.


Martin Cordrey said...


It’s September and I’m looking skywards
at a dark swirl of noisy starlings.

In our garden plums have turned purple,
are falling to the ground.

I’m helping my son, and his friend,
with spanners, as they upgrade their bikes,

it begins to rain, only its not precipitation
but black dots that splat on concrete.

A bird of prey has stolen one of the younglings,
scattering the screaming hoard,

then silence, the sky is empty,
bar tufts of grey cloud and Autumn blue,

Glenn Buttkus said...


In the northern forests,

spring is stabbing

into the heart of winter,

and all the things of gestation

ready themselves
 to blossom
and be born

There is no man's track,

no smell of tobacco,
 no tire tracks,

no garbage,
 no zap of neon.

There is
a snow wraith

that prowls in the deepest shadows,

striking fear
 into the cougar and the bear;

with granite muscles undulating

beneath a striped mantle;

a little monster with musk sacs,

and savage courage 
equaled nowhere,

the white wolverine.

Though no man has ever seen

the albino carcajou, 
I have

many times in my mind

 the faint yellow swath

from the powerful shoulders
to the base
 of the great bushy tail,

and the tiny black-green weasel eyes,

and the razor fangs

that can crush bone

or bite through a metal roof.

I have seen the skunk bear

sitting back on its haunches 
like a dog,

shielding its tender eyes with a paw,

and it has seen me,
 expects me,

knows that I am coming,

leaving the stink of the cities behind.

Glenn Buttkus 

Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Catherine said...

The Fig Tree

All winter fruits lie like nibbed cankers,
bitter as the soughing wind;
last years leaves plattered at its feet
slicked and varnished by the brush of rain.
Medusa roots jemmied into dark crevices
disperse, slither, clasping rocky outcrops.

The spring sun cajoles these emerald nubs
with its come hither glance.
They swell and soften at its behest.
New leaves cup the wrists of branches,
chalices imploring marbled skies
to refresh their milky sap.

Bullied by the summer heat the fruits
burgeon and burst open,
wounded by its insistence.
Clothed in purple silk they hang
seductive and succulent as breasts,
their sweetness to be tongued and sucked.

Was it the scheming serpent’s
eulogy of figs
that enticed the temptress Eve?

Keith Wallis said...

September colours its Autumnul fingers
through trees bowing to its breath.
Too soon the darkness will gather early
on village greens bereft of cricket
and workers leaving their daily busynesses.
Headlights and street lights
bring their fake daylight
but lacking warmth
the summer clothes
are wardrobe bound
for another year.

Keith Wallis said...

Autumnul !!!! aaarrgghh

Stephen Fryer said...

Take out the washing, it is fine.
Bring in the washing, rain is coming.
It never came, so hang it out to dry again,

You don't say please. Ever.

Still, this waltz with the washing is some kind of metaphor for life,
in September,
in September life.

Lynne Rees said...

Thanks for coming back to AppleHouse after the summer break! So good to read your poems.

@ Martin - I really like the sense of movement and change you've built into your poem.

@ Glenn - there's a primal energy in this. A sense of welcomed danger, or maybe it's a challenge to confront the wild that I feel.

@ Catherine - ah, figs! I bought some ripe black ones today - heavy in my palm. Such sensuous imagery here.

@ Keith - yes, it's that slow creep of darkness into the day that reminds me of the change of season too. I love the internal rhyme of breath/bereft.

@ Stephen - September life... as in 'autumn of our years'? The poem walks an edge - waltz is soft, but the direct statement, 'You don't say please. Ever' is more confrontational.

Another prompt coming soon.