Sunday, 13 September 2009

Seasonal clichés

These early autumn mornings are stunning. The bite in the air at 6.30am is very welcome after the humidity of summer and the air is clearer - my morning walks feel like soaring. Damsons, crab-apples, blackberries, hips and haws bejewel the hedges: there is something deeply satisfying about picking fruit at this time of year. As I pick my apples and pack the blemish-free ones for store, my inner hunter-gatherer is content.

And yet, and yet.. it is impossible to avoid thoughts of mortality as another year turns. The ageing nettles straggle and bow over the path, the rattling seed-heads cling to the brown stems of the cow-parsley and the first yellowing fallen leaves scatter on every path, cluster in the grass verges. The years turn all too quickly and this year, especially, having lost dear ones I am aware that I have fewer years to live than I have already lived. I'm greedy and want much, much more.

I'm unconvinced there is a poem left to write about autumn and mortality - it's been done too well, too many times. Yet clichés are clichés for a reason; in this case because the connections are inescapable.

The years turn and turn, and so do we.


  1. Yet clichés are clichés for a reason; in this case because the connections are inescapable.

    Yes, it's irritating, isn't it? Sometimes one drifts uninvited into your head - like the stars being like diamonds on velvet - and when you've finished cringing, you think; well actually, yes, they are just like that, and futhermore there isn't a better way of saying it.

    Pereant qui ante nos nostra dixerunt...

  2. Yes, Sheenagh - exactly; and the contortions one can get into just trying to find a different way of saying it can be worse than the clichés themselves.

  3. Clichés are truisms and truisms are true - Kerouac

  4. What a beautifully written post, Angela.

    The words "damsons, crab-apples, blackberries, hips and haws" sing off the tongue.