Autumn

Season of mists and squashed crab apples,
Shortened days and threatened cold,
Harvest time in ancient chapels.

Fallen leaves with shades of red,
Trees soon bare against the sky,
Early frost may spring instead.

Berries bloom and bring some brightness
To the hedges and the gardens,
Gladden hearts with such awareness

Of the time of fruitful labour,
Wrought by those whose task is this:
Bring in the bounty of the grower.

Fires to light, more warmth is needed,
Clothes are thicker ‘gainst the frost,
Winter’s coming, be not misled.

Thanks for summer, now delight in
Autumn’s fancies and the firelight
Now among us for the season.

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Last Day of Summer

The clocks go back tonight
And bring finality to summer’s long days.
What shall I do in the winter darkness
But paint and read and enjoy my home
And my friends of many years.
Those from heat-bound places
Say they envy us our seasons
Of switching cold and warmth
For it is true variety.
Tomorrow’s morn will be lighter
But oh the evening’s darker still;
Curtains drawn at four thirty
And the lights turned on.
Shall I desire next summer’s fast approach?
No, for that would be an end of half my life.
To find enjoyment in the coldness of winter
Will be my aim and source of content.

Homage to John Clare

This is the poet I have come to love
For his closeness to nature’s best.
His way with words pretends simplicity.
His observations touch my soul.
From a poor start to life itself
Came such works of the imagination
And beauty to awake my spirit.
His is the birthing of loveliness,
The awakening of wonder.
How sad was his end of his days,
With a troubled mind of madness
That missed his former ways.
My treasure is the weeks I have spent
In his spiritual presence,
Learning to know his country ways
In this age of lost innocence.
His was the liking for grace
Which I shall now redeem.

The Painting

I shall release my imagination’s fancy.
I shall let go of my reservations
And allow the colours to go where they will.
The sky will be green not blue;
The trees will be red not green,
And purple is the only colour for the water.
I remember the Fauves, those artists
Who ran amok with their palettes of choice.
They shocked those people who only desire truth
And so will I.
You can’t bury them for their boldness
And they are named forever.
Enticement to regress is clinging
But I dissent and stay my plan
To lie with paint.
A splash of orange in the river,
And a throw of red in the sky
Add to the madness of my creation.
Will the viewer think me deranged
As others were?
Only the passing years will unveil judgments.
For now I am content to expand my conscious mind
Thinking only that I have tried
To be contrary and to inspire.

Homage to De Kooning

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I made my second visit to the Abstract Expressionists exhibition at London’s Royal Academy yesterday. My favourite room was the one devoted to Willem de Kooning. It set me wondering just how easy or hard it would be to paint in his style. Here is my first effort which took me all of thirty minutes but my support is a lot smaller than his. If I have succeeded the question arises of what it is about these artists that makes their works worth millions.

Acrylic on paper, 16×12″.