POEM IN MAY

Michael and I taking a “turn in the shrubbery” as Jane Austen recommends many times in her writings. For us it meant a walk around the block . . . but what beauty to behold

POEM IN MAY

“Season of mist and mellow fruitfulness /close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;     from John Keats Ode to Autumn

Autumn 2019 has been the most beautiful autumn ever.  For me that is because the summer warmth has lingered. And  so the colour has given us its rich glory in  somewhat balmy days.

Sometimes I wonder how many  more autumns will my eyes behold and can they get any more crisp and brisk and sweet in harmony of tone and memory.

If the colours  of autumn were music notes 

the sound  would be a mellow humming tune 

with a back ground of bird song crickets and frogs  

and our wonderful powerful owl 

that comes to perch each evening 

on the cedar tree  

that brushes against our kitchen window. 

We have been vegging  (defined as to relax in a mindless way) on Jane Austen this past week 

and enjoying Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. (Hugh Grant)

We have two copies of Pride and Prejudice one with Colin Firth  as Darcy  It was a BBC series and went for hours and one with Matthew Macfadyen and Keira Knightley.

For Jane Austen, back then, “taking a turn in the shrubbery” is a way of moving both literally and metaphorically “in the proper circles.” In making this daily circuit, women observe the boundaries of taste and convention; reconcile past, present, and future; and redraw the lines of social connection.

For Austen and for her characters, walking is a habitual part of daily life. In letters written in 1805 and in 1806, Austen says, “we do nothing but walk about” and “we walk a good deal”

Hence  in accordance with our Jane Austen motive, Michael and I  have ‘taken a  turn in the shrubbery’ . . . . that is a constitutional walk around the block and heaven was in the oak trees at the end of the street. The crunch of leaves under foot and the sprinkle of leaves that fell silently around us like confetti with their  aura of colour, They fell silently and obediently at the slight whim of the air and the still quiet press of the branches.

In Dylan Thomas’ wonderful Autumn poem  it was his thirtieth year to heaven hence he can speak of being in his summer at noon watching the autumn colour around him.

I would like to say I stand here in summer noon though all below me lay leaved  in Autumn blood but I would have to say to be truthful,  I stand in autumn time with it leaved all around me still singing my name in the sky , still falling like tears and leaved with autumn blood  under my feet. But his next sentiment I sing with all my heart, he marvelled his birthday away up on the hill looking down on his town bathed in October blood   (October of course because it is Wales that is  his autumn: here it is May I am standing in right now, writing this)

O may my heart’s truth

Still be sung

On this high hill in a year’s turning.  from Dylan Thomas Poem in October

The coloured leaves I carried with me . All the music of an octave.

Out the windows

Music in the colour. Little Miss E and my heart ringing for joy . . .  Beauty is all around

SHARED FOOTPRINTS GINKO WALK: AUTUMN

TWO SETS OF FOOTPRINTS

by Michael and Colleen on autumn beach walk

footsteps-in-the-sand-peter-mooyman

CK            on the horizon
shelf of thick cloud
dawn lingers

MK            edge of the ocean
elements in balance
cone of awareness

CK                autumnal sun
catches the wet sand
our mirrored world

MK             gulls saunter
pattern the sand
we ease past

CK            olive-green seagrass
buzzes with insects
fresh from the ocean

MK             warm touch of sun
gossamer seaweed
dart of swallows

CK               the blue-grey heron
forages alone
we curve around

MK              photographers in position
board riders at play
wait for the moment

CK              near the headland
hang gliders colour the sky
autumnal breeze

MK            step through this autumn morning
extras on stage
accept our transience

CK               with incoming tide
two sets of footprints
are gone

sunriseIMG_3357

 

no footprint

 

 

 

anzac

IMG_9428

This poem was inspired by Anzac morning at Blackheath War memorial .It was  a brisk Autumn pre-dawn morning on April 25th  three years ago. A small space, in a small town like thousands of others all over Australia.

 

anzac

we leave our warm bed
rugged up from cold
before dawn
gather

!

with hundreds
out of the dark
around a cairn of unknown names

!

silence is broken only by coughs
and crunch of autumn under foot

!

no birds sing

!

the breeze sighs
trees weep
a solitary bugle plays

!

dark grief
for the futility of war
for humanity’s inhumane bent

!

the soul of anzac
wings our nations’ heart
hope rings in our song
as dawn pierces the inky sky

!

the first birds sing

!

zen moments

Zen is a way of being and can be seen as  a state of mind.  I think for Blake it is seeing ‘the world in a grain of sand,  and a heaven in a wildflower’.  For Eliot it could be ‘at the still point of a  turning world.’   For Frost’s ‘Two Roads’   it is taking the one less travelled’  For Michael  he suggests it is the moment at the bottom of the driveway when he is out and  on  his morning walk.

My zen moment  this day was watching a single tawny leaf on its journey.  And all I could do was breathe out slowly . I felt a sense of everything and nothing.  It could be like my heart and gut just connected very satisfyingly. And so I wrote. . .

 

 

IMG_0092

 

zen moment

a tawny leaf

clothed
nourished
the tree

lived its time
served its purpose

takes its leave
surrenders

falls

how gently
falling
falling
its fluttered spin
air-cushioned down

received
lightly
silently
by the earth

Colleen Keating

 

leaf

Photo taken by Elizabeth Keating-Jones

listen

The first of 9 poems in the section of the Anthology   A Call to Listen. This section is called The Smell of Parsley and focuses on poems that call on our senses. Enjoy. This is my favourite section.

The poem   listen   was inspired by a walk through the Tall Timbers Walk between Eastwood and West Ryde  with my labrador Millie.  She was a wonderful model  reminding me to slow down and look and listen and smell the wonders of nature along the way. It began with the crunch  of leaves under my feet and  the crack and rustle of the tiny skinks out sunning rustling away  from me  as I crunched through the fallen leaves  . The poem ends with an interesting, ambiguous yet cosmic line. Enjoy.

 

autumn
listen

bowed trees sleep
tresses crunch at their feet
hound of wind moans
rhyme with rustle tones
come closer
listen
snick on grass
wake of bird
seed on wing
leaf brush on air
crack and rustle of skink
in their leaf litter rush of hide-and-seek
cricket-croaks
fruitfly-drone
frog-plonk in pond
snap of seed-pod
kerplop of fruit and berry
and in the underworld
rub of beetle and ant

the only other sound
easy drift
of vesper leaves
settling
to a hush

this seasonal paradigm
whispers its arrival
no fuss
except it’s time