And After Autumn Winter Comes

Soft-footed as a mother when her child’s asleep
So gentle autumn tiptoes in unseen
To take the summer’s place. We are surprised
Each year to find the nights now cool, the evenings
Shorter. Yet signs there are for all to see:
The morning mists, the spiders’ webs that hang
Their looping ropes of pearls to shake and tremble
In the silver light, the bright and golden fields
Of summer corn replaced by shining stubble,
And all too soon the plough and fresh-turned clay,
Along the hedges hips and haws gleam red
While purple elder fruits droop down in bunches,
A feast of welcome for the winter thrushes.
Now in the fields the birds begin to flock—
Rich golden plovers, lapwings, gulls—while rooks
Take to the sky in clouds like scattered leaves
That soon the equinoctual gales will tear
From twig and branch to dance along the lanes,
And over the plains and rolling hills of England,
Then when the days begin to fade, far off
We hear the heavy tread of dread November
And smell the smoke of smouldering leaves, and him,
The guy we burn each year in sacrifice
To grim King Winter, waiting in the wings.

by Pete Crowther

Comments (6)

This poem like so many you have written sings from beginning to end. I'm with Susie. When's the novel coming out?
Have you contemplated writing novels? Such descriptive power!
This is like a lovely painting with a cold blast of air for realism. Autumn is my favorite time...but I don't fear winter any more, now that I live in the desert. Thanks for sharing this. Raynette
I like season poems, when I read them you get such a lovely feeling that makes you feel that it is good to be alive. This one did just that. cheers sylvia
I agree with Philippa, your description of those frosty colourful days is beautiful. Even makes me home sick.
See More