Monday, 2 November 2009

The Cenotaph of a Dark Day

Autumn bares its teeth and whistles,
Through naked stands of trees,
As feuds of wind and rain, restless,
In their wild frenzy for war,
Bring forth their baggage trains,
And gather their battalions,
Preparing for the petty battles,
That the season now commands.
As Northern gales follow summers trail,
And legions of whirling golden leaves,
Swirl as tea leaves in a cup,
Or a murmuration of starlings,
Burst like shrapnel from a bush,
A sudden shell shock of sound and motion,
As the coffin lid of dusk snaps shut.
The rush and rustle of a vortex, skittish
As the broken black branches,
That scratch a watery eye of sun,
Keeping score for each side,
As the storm front stalks closer,
With boom and bang, flash and crash,
To wrap the world in widows black.
Sunlight gilds the earth with sudden spurts,
As blood blushes from a severed limb,
Then clouds with scudding cataracts,
A blind, maimed moon in its tomb,
That rises to ride the West, nimbus wreathed,
As a memory of the fallen and forgotten,
Murmurs to me, now a century away,
In the cenotaph of a dark November day.

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