notes for a November poem


The trees are ragged with Autumn. The wind nags
and worries scabby leaves. I see the skyline fray;
black scraps tear off to become
a join-the-dots of rooks that threads
across unbroken grey. Virginia creeper
pours an oxblood waterfall
down the garage wall and yellow tears drift
under the willow. No still small voice
commands me from the prunus.
The pine trees fluff green fur and mist
purls over the estuary.

Published in Envoi 142 some years ago, and clearly based on November in the UK, not in Spain. Today, though, is unexpectedly wet and autumnal, so it seems a good time to post it.

Unfortunately, reposting and reviewing older poems always makes me want to start tinkering with them – perhaps unsurprising in this case as it was called “Notes…”, although it’s true in general: even if they have been published, it doesn’t give me a sufficient feeling of closure to believe they can’t, and shouldn’t, be improved.

I think it was Paul Valery who said: “A poem is never finished, only abandoned.”

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

3 thoughts on “notes for a November poem”

  1. thanks for sharing.
    I like it all very much and oxblood waterfall is my favorite.

    1 Kings 8:63
    And Solomon offered a sacrafice of peace offerings,which he offered to the Lord 22,000 bulls and…….

    That is an oxblood waterfall!


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