Poem ‘October’

English: Pumpkins

English: Pumpkins (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

October comes and suddenly
there’s too much change.
Enough already with trees going bare,

without having to alter clocks
to appease the North
which might not even care.

While some see beauty in decay,
all I find is a reckoning, revenge
in Hallowe’en’s red-eyed stare,

where we fare no better than pigs
fattened and slaughtered,
sentenced for nothing

by callous clowns in wigs.
So I will kick through the leaves,
as is the custom

in my search for a soul,
or a silver-lining in death,
wrapped up like a sausage

against the first icy blast
which blows away all joy
and steals the breath.

© copyright David F. Barker 2012
*First published in poetry collection ‘Anonymous Lines’, Night Publishing, available at amazon.

24 thoughts on “Poem ‘October’

  1. Spring left suddenly wondering what i said,summer was hot ,rain was humid,All hopes on the Fall🙂
    Loved your poem David…trees have shed a lot and yet i am happy may be cos i find ruins beautiful and these ones know how to bounce back

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  2. I love autumn. First for reprieve from the heat of summer, and second for the portent of winter yet to come. Snow lover, you know! And I agree, the clock change is nuts. You say it so much more elegantly.

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  3. Thank you so much for your comment. There is talk over here of going over permanently to ‘British Summer Time’, which would mean being an hour ahead of GMT permanently. I think it’s a good idea but, unfortunately, in places like Scotland it wouldn’t get light till half nine in the morning in midwinter! Ah well.

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  4. Ah, big *sigh*- for the loveliness of this poem,(as always), the sadness at the disappearing light, the end of the flowers(for now:)) and also for the cosiness of fires, bubbling hotpots and treacle sponge.

    I’m not sure the leaves will be kicked this year, we’ve had so much rain, more pushed along as they cling stubbornly to shoes!!🙂 and are brought into the kitchen on the underside of dog paws left there like dead soggy creatures.lol

    Christine

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  5. So I will kick through the leaves,
    as is the custom

    in my search for a soul,
    or a silver-lining in death,
    wrapped up like a sausage…. this is way cool david..

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  6. I agree…sad, but I still love the feel of all the changes
    for it is the change of many colors we face as we
    head into Winters stillness…

    I really enjoyed this one Dave…
    Take Care…
    )0(
    maryrose

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  7. searching for your sould among the leaves….pretty cool line that sir…this time of year is all about the contemplative for me…the great sleep is coming as well…i like the cool kiss bfore then though and the great beauty before death…

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  8. I like lots of seasons – each one in its way – but this poem is much fun! You bring up the change that is the worst – in ourselves – time slipping by too quickly, like loose change, as it were. k.

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  9. Wow, those pigs being fattened for slaughter hits home. Here at the high altitude of the Rocky Mountains fall lasts two weeks if we’re fortunate. Not long enough to develop strong feelings about. The 9 months out of the year it snows, well, you either learn to love it or move. Great work.

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  10. Since our October weather is rather “hellish” at the moment, perhaps it fits well with the overall tone. And as if time zones aren’t complex enough, those shifts this time of year serve no purpose that makes sense to me! I have to say that I don’t really relish “the decay” either. I enjoy a different perspective than all the usual “celebration” of Autumn!

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  11. without having to alter clocks
    to appease the North
    which might not even care.

    yes, we travel back a hour again this month, had forgotten about that🙂
    Great poem, David, autumn is most definitely here.
    Ciao, Francina

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  12. While some see beauty in decay,
    all I find is a reckoning, revenge
    in Hallowe’en’s red-eyed stare,

    I see no beauty in autumn either, tis surely a time of decay and gloom and if I had my way I would press the government to ban it…

    Anna :o]

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  13. Hi David, this is a good read as always on your blog 🙂 I am still trying to get used to this hour extra we seem to have since Sunday. I wish they would stop this nonsense of Summer time and Winter time!🙂 xx

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  14. I am trying to think through what I think about this poem. October, of course, is symbolic of the change from the summer of life to the Fall leading to winter and death. If we look at Fall from this perspective,
    October comes and suddenly
    there’s too much change.
    is a statement that is as powerful as it contains a sense of the inevitable.
    While some see beauty in decay,
    all I find is a reckoning…
    and this reckoning is strong enough to lead to a realization that
    we fare no better than pigs
    fattened and slaughtered,
    sentenced for nothing…
    For this is true, of course. In the end we are sentenced to death for simply having lived, and the truth is that life is all that we have. We did not choose life, but it is what we have. As I grow older I feel the sense of this more and more. Death is not justice even though it is reality.
    So I will kick through the leaves,
    as is the custom

    in my search for a soul,
    or a silver-lining in death…
    I find these lines both powerful and filled with affirmation in the face of realization. By kicking through the leaves, following custom, the poet is linking backward into the habit of countless generations, using this action to stir all of our search for a soul, for a silver-lining in death, which is
    wrapped up like a sausage…
    enclosed in the life which is us,

    against the first icy blast
    which blows away all joy
    and steals the breath.

    And so the end of life comes.
    This is as powerful as poetry gets. Its contemplation, built around the metaphor of October, filled with the sense of clowns and Halloween, and the coming darkness of death is both affirming…life still exists in our kicking of leaves and search for soul, and mourning, the first icy blast/which blows away all joy/and steals the breath, stuns and awakens the nature of who we are as human beings.

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