an echo of butterflies

Autumn is full of butterflies. Or so it seems to me.

Sometimes, as in the picture at the top of the post, it is only the visual echo of a butterfly. Sometimes, as in this fragment, it’s a memory of summer:

From among the fallen leaves, the wind
lifts a broken butterfly wing
and gives it flight.

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more autumn

Autumn comes,
breathing grey mist through city streets;
he stamps in puddles
then laughs with sudden sunshine.

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weather or not

Autumn sunshine
outside my window
the neighbour’s yellow Mini

 
Sadly, that’s not the way it looks out there at the moment; instead, it’s decidedly grey.

Still, the forecast shows surprisingly little rain for in the foreseeable future and it looks as if we may get a brief sunny spell this afternoon. Even if we don’t, the parked cars are nice and bright.

autumnal

If I spent as long writing new poems as I do looking back through old ones to find something to post on the blog, I’d probably end up with a lot more to choose from.

That said, today’s was a relatively easy choice: despite the rich, bright colours, autumn is a melancholy season, so a poem about absence seems appropriate.
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jellyfish and jungle blooms

What with Hurricane Ophelia last weekend and Storm Brian this weekend, the UK has taken a bit of a battering recently and the local park is ankle deep in mud and sodden leaves.

Clearly, though, the weather has produced the right conditions for growth for some organisms. One particular fallen tree was host to all sorts of alien growths, and looked very impressive indeed decked out in its finery of tiny beads and flounces, frills, ridges and ripples in all the autumnal shades from bright orangey russet to a deep aubergine that made me think of grapes or mulled wine.
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gone to seed

Although it’s still nearly three weeks until the equinox, the meteorologists say it’s already autumn. Certainly there are plenty of fruits and berries about on trees and bushes.

As I wandered round in the sunshine yesterday, camera in hand, wondering what to take photos of, my eye was caught by the magnolia tree. More specifically, by the seed pods in various stages of development.
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fair weather flowers

I don’t know when I first heard the saying “God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December”**, but it made sense to me as I was brought up in Britain and grew up thinking of the rose as the perfect symbol of English summer.

Later, I realised that I was wrong to think of the flower as typically English: I’ve seen the Rose Parade in Pasadena and elsewhere on the blog I’ve pondered the character of Spanish roses. But I still tend to associate roses with better weather.

That said, I took the above photo earlier this week.

True, the blooms are a little the worse for wear – if I was remembering a rose, I think I’d picture one in rather better condition. Frankly, though, I don’t think they should have been there at all.

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** The quote is attributed to J M Barrie, though when he used it in a rectorial address in 1922 he seems to have expected his audience to be familiar with it.