Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Time stands still.

There is a day each year it seems, when I am struck by the fact that time is standing still for a short break before going on to the next season. Two years ago this day was when I was driving through Wensleydale on my way to meet my god-daughter in Sedbergh for lunch, and I stopped in a lay-by on the way to write down my thoughts on this.

This morning the farmer is 'rowing-up' ready for the silage baler and wrapper to come after lunch. In the meantime Tess and I had a gentle stroll round the fields, newly cut and smelling sweet. And it struck me forcibly that today is that day for me.

There is hazy, warm sunlight and the air is still - it is as though everything has stopped for a moment. So - I looked out the poem I wrote two years ago, altered it here and there - and I make no excuses for printing it again here today, because for me it is as true now as it was then.

There is a day.


There is a day
when the season seems to stand still.

The last few flowers on the meadow cranesbill
turn to spiky seeds.

The tall, brown heads of the dock
line the verges like policemen.

The meadow sweet has lost its creamy smell
and turned to brown.

And the only flowers left are purple thistles,
yellow ragwort and a few spires of rosebay willow-herb.

The trees have lost their individuality
and turned the same dark, dying green.

On the distant hills the clouds flirt with the tops
and a faint mist marks the beck's course.

The swifts have gone and the swallows
are one hundred on the line and counting.

When the purple heather shows on the moor,
then the season moves on.

19 comments:

MorningAJ said...

Purple heather on the moors. Oh how I miss that. Going over the top road from Scarborough to Whitby and seeing the glorious purple spread out on either side. And you're right. The world stops just long enough for us to take a proper look.

Bonnie said...

Time stood still as I read your sweet reflections.

ArtPropelled said...

I know the feeling. Your poem is lovely, Weaver.
....the swallows are one hundred on the line and counting .... I can see them clearly in my minds eye.

Bovey Belle said...

I have always said this too, but specifically the summer into autumn rather than the transition of other seasons. This year, here in Wales, however, we gradually slid downhill once the rain arrived from mid-July and the regular windy days seemed to underline it. Definitely autumn here now, despite hot sunshine today.

I think when you live so much outside, in the countryside particularly, you notice such things, being so much in tune with the countryside.

Bovey Belle said...
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Heather said...

Beautiful seasonal sentiments Pat - you have expressed this time of year to perfection. I didn't read your poem the first time round as I wasn't blogging then. Sixteen days to go to my second bloggy birthday.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

We are in that state of flux also. Our heat now so intense everything is baking for another month or so. Time to pull everything out and get ready for fall planting. Pansies next month and I should get my new tomatoes in this week. The old, well past done for the season.

Time standing still. I like that.

angryparsnip said...

Lovely !

I felt like I was there with you.

cheers, parsnip

Helen said...

Hello! Fall is my favorite season and your poem has stood the test of time ... I loved it.

Everton Terrace said...

Lovely. A nice moment of reflection for me this morning.

Elizabeth said...

I loved the poem and am feeling a little triste as fall approaches!

George said...

Quite beautiful, Pat, and a good reminder that wonderful, heart-filled words endure the passage of time.

Bovey Belle said...

I was so busy posting twice and removing the 2nd post, that I forgot to say what a beautiful and evocative poem that was. Thank you for sharing.

It is good that someone else understands what I mean when I have been trying to tell them about that day when time stands still and seasons alter.

Gramma Ann said...

What a lovely poem for the changing season. It is amazing how fast Summer as gone this year. However, Autumn is still my favorite season, even tho' it is much to short, I still love it.

I just this afternoon while out on a drive mentioned to my husband, the golden rods are blooming. That always signals to me Autumn is not far behind.

Gerry Snape said...

Swallows on the line and counting...that is a magic phrase Weaver! It brought a lump to my throat as I count the year as a goner when I see them fly. Thankyou for such a great poem.

ChrisJ said...

Such sweet memories. I may have been gone for 50 years, but I still know the names of the wild flowers and your words evoke such sweet memories -- even as I hear that we are to have a toasty Labor Day weekend (Sept 5th)

Cloudia said...

I loved this wonderful and true poem!





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Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely poem and so true, I have always felt those days too. This year it was watching the swallows flying low over the ripening wheat. Wish we had swallows in their hundreds, guess that's not to be

The Weaver of Grass said...

Glad you enjoyed it again - seems we all love Autumn - let's hope it is a lovely colourful one this year, followed by not too hard a winter!