southend poetry home page

back issues







Mervyn Linford

Take heart the leaves are turning: the summer's
Flush of gilt-chaotic green is mellowing
To yellow, red, and brown and like the sun
Is paler than it was. These swallows

Will not wait for time to fall, their journeys
Are predestined by the stars, but when they leave
Simplicity's recalled as thought and word
Are winnowed to the bone. Each summer tree

Is closer to the root - anatomies
Like networks in the brain: a lexicon
Of buds and latent shoots that somehow track
Their meanings to the soil. The context

Is no more as self-assured as silken,
Sheer geometries ensnare, and love
Embraces loud, vibrating wings. This still,
Unsung lament is not our loss as doves

Deliver syllables of hope and even
Darkness, snowfall, and the frost - seem less severe.
The season - though it's dying - slowly breathes
As from the thoughtless earth such thoughts appear

As fly agaric, inkcap, and boletus
The fungal growth: the ghosts - of all our years.