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Lay for the Day
10th November

A seasonal poem from the book of Praises.

95. Of November

The morello gives off light as it gives off leaves,
revealing its ribs as days diminish.
Returning the sunshine owed, it papers the paving
it shaded with multiple layers of yellow.

A leaf at the end of a long twig quivers
like the beak of the blackbird who whistles
in the cold his half-hearted rehearsal of the spring.

The sparrows who pecked its early petals for food
and filled it with commotion, desert the naked eaves.
In dripping rain they huddle among buddleia.

Bare-armed in shining bark and abandoned
by all but the grace of its armoured nudity,
it withdraws from none of summer’s flourishes,
preparing to bear on them the hard, delicate frost.

John Gibbens
from Collected Poems


The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar

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