A late September afternoon;
the autumn sun sits low
in the western sky and sets
the stubbled fields aglow
with colours mirrored by the trees,
whose leaves drift quietly down;
russet, yellow, and burnt gold
with every shade of brown.
A rustling in the hedgerows, where
a hungry fieldmouse feeds
from Mother Nature's generous store
of berries, nuts, and seeds.
Here glossy acorns, hazelnuts,
nestle with crimson rose
hips, massed crabapples,elder fruits
and hazy purple sloes.
The grain has long been gathered;
the final harvest's come.
Apples, pears, sweet chestnuts, blackberries,
walnuts, damson, plum.
And marrows, motley coloured, turnips,
every kind of bean,
crisp copper carrots, golden swede,
potatoes, peas so green.
As the shadows grow a silence
settles over all.
The watchful owl sits patiently
waiting for dusk to fall.
And on the far horizon a sight
eerie to behold;
the harvest moon, new risen a great
globe of pink and gold.
This is Michaelmas, when darkness
balances the light.
As every living creature
recognises that the night
will overwhelm the daylight now
until the year is old.
So they make their preparations to
survive the winter's cold.
The hedgehog hibernates inside
her nest; the squirrel stores
his acorns underneath the ground.
Behind the cupboard doors,
of every home lie pickles, jams
and bottled fruit and mead
and jars of flour and honeycombs
to fulfil every need.
The summer work is finished now
and winter cares can wait.
In a spirit of great thankfulness
its time to celebrate
the harvest home with feasting, drinking,
dancing and with mirth.
To decorate a corn maiden
to honour Mother Earth.
This is the harvest of our lives,
what we have sown we reap.
A time to cast away the chaff
and keep the seed. Dream deep
the future of the spring while this
years harvest fruits sustain
us and contain the seeds which next year
will be sown again.