Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A seasonal note

Right in the heart of the city where we live, we are fortunate to have a grassed area in the midst of our housing area and two dozen large trees. It's a great pleasure, right on the doorstep, except when certain southerly autumn winds drive all the falling leaves right up into our corner, and leave us with a huge extra clearing up chore, which the regular garden maintance workers don't do. Here's a recent moment captured after an hour in the fresh air.


A few days of wind sweeps the trees clean of leaves
They tumble and flutter to the ground
Then rush in tides along the grass across the road
And pile up in drifts against wall and fence
Burying my bike, chained to the gate
Mocking its immobility with their gold and orange hues.

Clearing them into giant garden sacks
between autumn gusts and showers
brushing and bending, picking and thrusting
filling to bursting those gaping garden bags
feeling the breeze on my sweating brow
and scattered raindrops
threatening to subvert this most physical pleasure.
This is a day to rejoice.

I hear a gardener’s angry buzzing harvester
blow leaves loudly into neat compliant heaps
to gather from his lawn
His ears are shielded from the deafening drone
That undergirds his labour.
Does he hear the gull or the magpie’s cry of surprise
At the sudden stripping of glory from their domain?
He does not hear the brush I wield
To make the leaves obey me
To make them hiss, crackle and dance to my stride.
Perhaps he hears the perpetual traffic’s background roar

But though I also hear,
It intrudes not upon those sounds in my foreground
That make the day wondrous.

JKK 04.11.05