Sunday, 1 November 2009


(Autumn Leaves in Gifford Woods)

Although I am new to the blogging malarkey or maybe because I am new, I have been thinking about using it to best advantage. If someone told me that anyone in the world who wants to drop into my blogspot could read my musings, I might feel overwhelmed. That is until someone else told me that I am only likely to be read by one or two people and that the chances of being propelled to international fame are as likely as me winning the lottery or getting my book published (both of which are on stand-by at the moment.)

This means that I have an unexpected freedom to use this amazing set up in the best way I can think of. If it is true that one person will read this blog and that person is you, I am delighted to say that I have an idea which might be of interest.

Here’s the deal - I like poetry and I like writing poetry about things that inspire me. If you like writing poetry too, why not use the next few blogs to put together a poem about autumn leaves. This does assume that you are in the Northern hemisphere and that it is autumn where you are, but if you are in Australia or any other country in the Southern hemisphere just enjoy the sun and imagine it’s autumn.
‘But..’ you might ask, ‘how will I write a poem on autumn leaves?
I have a plan.
The first thing to do is to make a few notes about autumn leaves. Here is one I did earlier – during a particularly boring meeting at work.
• Colours – yellow, red, brown and green.
• Leaf fall – wind.
• Mulch
• Spots on leaves
If you think that this is a bit sparse you are right, it was after all an uninspiring meeting. Luckily, I remembered something that a very good poet called Mandy Haggith told me when I was in Lochinver
‘Go out and note down your observations and thoughts,’ she said.
Yesterday, with this in mind, I got on my bike and had a cycle in woods around Gifford. It was a glorious autumn day and the sun shone on the trees and piles of leaves giving me just the right amount of inspiration. I jumped off my bike and looked around and then made another list.
• Colours – green, yellow, brown, sienna, rust, black spots, grey, light brown, teak and all at once on the same leaf. Earth colours everywhere.
• Texture – dry and rustley, damp and glistening, parchment.
• Litter and clutter.
• Storms of leaves like snow.
• A symphony of sizes and shapes
• Wind rustling leaves in the branches and clusters on the ground.
• Breezes touching leaves – rippling.
• Sunlight glancing onto leaves.
• A mixture of visual delights.
• A feast for the eyes – delicate and vibrant
• Waving leaves on branches. Fluttering
• Pure dappled light

Wow – Mandy was right about getting out and about. But it’s a lot of material for a poem, and it doesn’t all have to be used.
Something occurred to me during my trip and that was:
‘Should the poem be a description of autumn leaves and the emotions they elicit in me, or could I write it from a different angle?'
• From the point of view of a big Oak leaf falling from the Oak tree,landing in a burn and travelling to… who knows where.
• Leaves with frost coats, or wet with rain or dancing in the wind.
• At last dropping from the branch, making compost for tomorrow.
• There will be many other possibilities.

If you would like to write your own poem, we can turn these thoughts, and many others into a poem. If you like, we can offer each other comments and constructive ideas and by the end of the week, we will have a finished product ready for an unsuspecting world.


  1. so, i read this post in visakapatnam, where you recommended me to go, and where i thought of you alot, wondering to myself, did dad see this? i wonder what dad thought about that when he was here? it was a nice and comforting feeling knowing you were there earlier this year......i had a 27hr travel adventure ahead of me to get to where i am now, pondicherry, so thought it a perfect opportunity to join in on your autumn i scribbled down a few of your words, and playfully turned it into the following.....

    Autumn- Ode to Dod

    The first leaf falls, not by time of man
    All colours of earth, shades of shimmering lands,
    Soon a carpet lays rustling in the breeze
    Bare and resting are the mother trees.

    The Autumn Orchestra has come out to play,
    A shape and size symphony out on display,
    Filling the forest with a natural litter
    With spots like moth wings, ripple and glitter

    Sunlight dances to the sound from leaf to leaf,
    The veins of life within them slowly decease
    Moonlight shines over silent change
    The breath of winds chooses to re-arrange

    A man cocooned in observation and thought
    Flutters through gracefully, doing what he ought,
    Much like a tree deeply rooted in the ground
    Inspiration and answers undeniably found
    Breathing in tranquility as he glides on his bike
    Basking in this pure and dappled light.

    I just wipped it up really quickly, easily inspired by your choice of describing words but i particuarly liked the comparison u made between music and autumn...anyway i hope you liked it as it was for you!

    on the same journey, i bought a local paper and on the front page was a blogspot snippet which i though i must share with you.. from indian express 3rd nov visakhapatnam- skupillai.blogspot

    Between you and me: tears running down cheeks. she cried until she saw him, smiling at her. she knew its fine now, nothing can go wrong. he took her hand and she made her first step. that was years ago. now when i walk with Pa slowly to his pace, i smiled wondering things haven't changed much.

    i liked this tiny anecdote as we're communicating mainly thru your blog at the mo and this was taken from a blog about a father and daugher- most appropriate! t got me thinking, another point about why people may choose to keep a blog is because they arn't scared to. i follow a friends whos living in america, he is brutally honest about everything that he does/thinks/says...i've found reading his blog from time to time reminds me of human oneness, the sufferings, the learnings, the laughs...its a challenging thing to expose you soul so publically, to put ot out there into cyber space for all to read and judge....i think an honest blogger is a brave blogger....

    love you xxx

  2. Hey Zoe Pie
    ...'an honest blogger is a brave blogger' That's a great tag line, I might pinch it.

    Thank you Zoe for your lovely poem. It is very special and has some hauntingly beautiful phrases. I love the 'Mother trees' and the 'Autumn orchestra.' The rhyming sentence endings work a treat, and of course the whole poem is very special because you wrote it for me.

    The blog that you found about the father and daughter is a little gem. The way it shows the flow of life and how a father and daughter's relationship has altered because of the passing of time, except in one aspect. That of course is the love they share.

    I got your card from Bodghya today - thank you and you've made it all the way down to pondicherry, well done. I hope that the volunteering goes well.

    Lots of love coming your way across all those miles. ;-) xxx