Summer now embers,
November slumbers.

Darker hours have given way
to darker days and darker months
met with vivid apparitions
of leering pumpkins, bursting stars,
burning men and pretty skulls.

Beneath a quilt of downy clouds
the hills count their flocks, but the numbers slip:
Sept- for nine… Oct- for ten…

Now for a leavening…
The forest sleeps and the bright days are made.
Hedgehogs, fat with grubs and worms,
curl up and conjure each colour anew
lest we forget yellow.

Bats and frogs make up a moth
plump enough to stutter in the air –
flies the size of cherry plums
to hum and hang on weighted wings –

and the dormouse crafts the sun.
Every snore a solar flare,
each flicker of its eyelids a spicule- or a filament-to-be
while last year’s star, a cold old rock, is buried, with the rest,
ten thousand miles underground.

In the world of jackets and shoes
we walk from home to work and back again;
the ghosts of soldiers on the streets,
the ghosts of leaves on the pavement,
the ghost of warmth in the air.

Wes Viola is a pen name of Wes White. An Elder Bard of his hometown of Glastonbury, Wes now works in public libraries in London. He is an alumnus of the Master’s programme in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths College and is a past winner of the poetry prize at Wells Festival of Literature.

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