Rain cracks its whip

Against the windows. The wielder: autumn.

From the cottage in the cleft of the foothills

You can see a flickering light, just out of sight

And it stains the blackest night.

Crossroads covered with leaves, mourning the absence of 

Sleeping drunken youths.

They’re all sleeping by the fire in their blankets

Because it’s already dark.

Autumn’s fingers splattered with paint

From his fiery palette. He thinks he’s an artist, but in fact 

He’s chasing a dying year, a year rolling onto its back

Exhausted, too weary to perform any longer.

The fire will fall away into the skeleton.

Dawn and dusk are draped with mist

Rain every night, daggery sunbeams

Every morning.

Clouds stacked in the sky like a log fire –

These things go unnoticed in turmoil.

There’s a soft humming, a pulse that throbs underfoot

Long swallowed by the shriek of blurry Now.

It’s the same autumn

As watched by nobles in red silk

Surrounding their virgin queen;

The same autumn through which 

The horses of the light brigade thundered to inferno,

And flat-capped men dragged the motorcar

As they wrenched it into life.

It’s the same autumn, a fickle painter but

Not a forsaker.

You’ll see him every year.

Light the lamps. It will be so dark today, it will be so dark

It will feel like dusk all day.

Artwork by Charlotte Bunney.