20 October 2022

Autumn Leaves

Les feuilles mortes 

It is, suddenly, autumn. I have been away. Then I was floored by a measly virus. I woke, and it was Autumn. The summer had gone, and winter was nigh.

And what, who is left?  It is autumn.  The leaves are falling.  First Her Madge.  Now MissTrusst.   Khasi Kwarteng. The pound.  Braverbitch.  The conversative prattle. All trussed up and nowhere to go.....

Jacques Prévert had this to say, around 1945 perhaps:

Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle
Tu vois, je n’ai pas oublié
Les feuilles mortes se ramassent à la pelle
Les souvenirs et les regrets aussi

Some time later, thanks to Johnny Mercer, perhaps, Nat "King" Cole, Frank Sinatra et al, the poem became famous as Autumn Leaves, and, should you wish to hear an angel sing, please try this:

[And, should this link not work, look for Eva Cassidy, Autumn Leaves on Youtube.]  

Eva died in 1996, just 33 years old, but so beautiful.....

So little time.  So much love.

I took a walk the other day.  I wanted to reflect on the season, on the good things. I met a robin. The bird sang to me, looking this way and that, and I wanted it to last for ever....

I find the autumn rich in many ways. Rough pigs snuffle up the prodigious harvest of sweet chestnuts, careless of my approach:

A kestrel windhovers, with respect to Gerard Manley Hopkins, following the infrared trails of shrews in the grass while scores of Redwing flit by as specks in the sky, shy to man, but intent on harvesting the hedgerows to flesh up for a hard winter.....

Then he falls to rest, tired of the game, maybe wondering why the marsh is so dry, why there is still that taste of summer's burning, why there are so few shrews just now....

While just one of the so many migrant redwings fails for a nanosecond to escape my lens (except, he wins - I am too slow).....

The falling leaves drift by my window
The falling leaves of red and gold

It is so beautiful today.  Time stands shakily still. I think of leavers, fallers. Yes the arrogant, ambitious, careless politicians, who have brought us to the brink, but, much more importantly, those friends who have lived their lives honestly and given at least as much as they took.  I have been to two funerals this week, celebrations of lives well spent.  And at this moment Amanda, my dear partner of some forty years lies in hospital puzzled by the comings and goings of strangers, having spent hours and hours in an ambulance at the doors of A & E....  

I see your lips the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold
Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I'll hear old winter's song

Eva Cassidy's life was so short, but her recordings are so uplifting.  How is it that the good die so young, while we are left with the shameful dross?  

I walk home from Amanda's Care Home.  I find a horse with tears in her eyes.  What does she know?

A Pied Wagtail poses for me, brave against the future, risking its all against my heavy lens.  If only such pertness was coupled with human sensitivity, maybe people might love each other more.  A smart little bird, living for the moment.  No ambition (?) and no intention to profit from others.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past....

But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall

I miss you most of all my darling

When autumn leaves start to fall

1 comment:

  1. This is not a comment -- there are no words worthy of such a situation. Take care of yourself. And love to you both.