Autumn’s mizzled afterworld.
The sodden depositories melting into mud.
Small dunes like rufous fire
where I went
through the barren leaf-litter.
There, in autumn’s icy light,
amid the tones of dunnock and throstle, each leaf
in the bleakly brilliant air
into copper and claret.
In the mosaic of those leaves
– that chaos of terra cotta – knitting spiders
strung with spindly filaments
tree to tree
with webby, dripping draperies.
Diaphanous, dew-glazed world.
World not yet solidified. There, scoring the yarn,
plump pockets of liquid light
all glacial and hyacinth.
Webs like sheets of shattered glass
laced with the honey of the sun’s white haloes
where dawn-gold dewy silks
streaming the air like sunstruck hair.
Those dazzling, clotted droplets
were children of morning, globules of gleaming trove
shining on shivering strands
and pearly gossamer.
Which became a blinking trinket.
Which became a beaded abacus. Which became
fallen feathers of light.
gateway to a better world.
Each drop a limpid lantern,
a splinter of Sirius, lucent lobes of
from the watery air.
The smoky flesh of withered leaves
a cadaverous folio splashed with light,
garnished with buds of sparkle,
trophies of a kingdom lost,
a kingdom which, when glimpsed,
finds the forever in the ephemeral
and, like love, briefly seizes
makes sense of
this wasted, throwaway world.