As the sullen leaves begin to turn
my thoughts turn inward
like a deciduous tree’s essence.
This, the true end of the year,
is a time of reflection,
of lighting fires and long walks
where the hanging wood smoke evokes
tales of old ancestors.
Brutus is here from that long trail from Troy;
so too Hengist and Horsa of the Jutes,
more noble than they knew.
I leave aside the Conqueror, for his path
of destruction I can still sense in this old land.
Here too, in the reds, browns and golds
under my feet, lies the promise of spring,
the new beginnings laid down years before.
For from here sailed the Mayflower,
leaving behind a corrupted world.
I sense their desire for truth, to get
back to basics, the continuity stretching
back to the garden, where my clumsy feet
search out a route straight to spring.
But in the new land
where the Mayflower spilled its seed,
how is the fall this year
and what kind of spring will it be?
copyright Francis Barker 2019