It is late. It is early.
the art of letting go,
as she performs her annual yard sale,
de-cluttering with a tut, a smile,
a shake of the head,
tidying away the toys of summer.
She sings as she sweeps –
her long skirts
layered with a patchwork of leaves,
gathering up all that we don’t need
in her wake.
Busily she insists
we put our house in order
before the harsher times ahead.
Her winter sister is not so sentimental
when she brings her black bag,
as bottomless as a December night.
Despite all we have done,
the gifts we have squandered,
her treasures plundered,
still the Earth
Still the Earth
will forgive us.
Her compassion is endless,
and we will weep at her feet
before this is played out.
But first, a favourite vinyl crackles
to the centre.
The needle gathers dust.
With a melancholy pang
Lady Autumn revisits her old haunts,
her maiden places,
savouring the memory one last time
before letting it fade.
She presses the best
into the palimpsest of the past,
a bonfire for the rest.
Smoke curlews from the piles of leaves,
gathered into golden dragon hoards,
to be kicked –
and, for a moment,
we are as rich as bank robbers,
the folding gold falling around us.
Copyright ©Kevan Manwaring 2010
First published in Soul of the Earth (Awen 2010) and soon to be featured in the forthcoming Silver Branch: bardic poems by Kevan Manwaring (Awen 2017).