by Iain James Robb


I have never known how gold this time of year,

With its palladium arcade, was, of the trees

That do not sense the pleasure of their silence;

Trees are egalitarian, they do not speak

But concourse among themselves, consent to join us

At this moment breathing unexpectedly-

As sight surmounts to touch, of oblique clearness,

And I am feeling calmer now.


I had never known how golden was the tear

The primal second of this season shed on sheaves,

That caged in muteness sit still or fall freedom

In the public orchard's copper overtures-

The leaves that in departure won't purloin us,

In the moth-bound lanes, but braid round August's laves,

That release who care to view to voids of nearness,

Though it is quiet now.


And I'd never noticed how cold was the year

I stayed indoors too long to see the trees

Release their patient lack of sense of here or absence,

But they do not mind, too patient at their peak,

To care for weights of wars or lives that find us:

The Meccano sets in trunks of yesteryears

A child forgets to build, as we build blindness,

As I'm growing older, now


I feel I'd never known grave happiness, or fear-

Less gold or grey than either are the leaves:

But brighter than the spill of starstream's verdure

Is the spell they weave along the woof of tears.

They do not know the brave indifference that winds us

To their antique sleepless sleight, this shroud-month's prow

An aging man almost can't bear, for beauty's sheerness:

And it's grown more silent now.