It’s autumn here, the aspen are bright gold, there’s fresh snow on the high mountains.

Perhaps Keats wrote the definitive poem on Autumn……but do you have a favourite autumn verse?

But I’ve just got back from 2 weeks in ………the southern hemisphere where things are the other way round. Although there was one day in Mendoza, Argentina, when the temperature there was the same as the temperature in Boulder it felt a brighter heat with the days lengthening and the nights as warm as the days. It was disorientating to be in spring going into summer rather than autumn going into winter. The flowers and trees just bursting out in the southern hemisphere, filling the streets with exotic scents and bright colours.

This made me think how place can be dislocating and how we can connect over these differences.

When I do phone, skype or online sessions with clients or supervisees in other time zones or countries we often start by checking on the weather or the view from our respective windows – it’s grounding and locating to remember that we are talking against different backgrounds but that we are talking in real time.


A Captured Moment: Write about a childhood autumn experience – write in the first person, use the present tense and include as much information from your senses. When you’ve finished read it to yourself and write a sentence of feedback:

When I read this I notice………………


Saturday, December 3, 9:45-4:00 p.m., Marin County, California. $95.

Wild Places Lost and Found: Writing the Places of our Hearts, Minds, and Souls

Kate joins Mary Thompson to explore the complex and profound relationship between places and people through poetry, journaling, and conversation. This one-day workshop is open to people with no previous writing experience; writers and poets are also welcome. Early registration recommended: group size limited to eight.  For more information contact

The aspens outside my window are gold against the Colorado blue sky……..

……otherwise the autumn view can seem quite monochrome


5 thoughts on “Autumn?”

  1. November Graveyard

    The scene stands stubborn: skinflint trees
    Hoard last year’s leaves, won’t mourn, wear sackcloth, or turn
    To elegiac dryads, and dour grass
    Guards the hard-hearted emerald of its grassiness
    However the grandiloquent mind may scorn
    Such poverty. No dead men’s cries

    Flower forget-me-nots between the stones
    Paving this grave ground. Here’s honest rot
    To unpick the heart, pare bone
    Free of the fictive vein. When one stark skeleton
    Bulks real, all saints’ tongues fall quiet:
    Flies watch no resurrections in the sun.

    At the essential landscape stare, stare
    Till your eyes foist a vision dazzling on the wind:
    Whatever lost ghosts flare
    Damned, howling in their shrouds across the moor
    Rave on the leash of the starving mind
    Which peoples the bare room, the blank, untenanted air.

    Sylvia Plath


  2. Especially When the October Wind

    Especially when the October wind
    With frosty fingers punishes my hair,
    Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire
    And cast a shadow crab upon the land,
    By the sea’s side, hearing the noise of birds,
    Hearing the raven cough in winter sticks,
    My busy heart who shudders as she talks
    Sheds the syllabic blood and drains her words.

    Shut, too, in a tower of words, I mark
    On the horizon walking like the trees
    The wordy shapes of women, and the rows
    Of the star-gestured children in the park.
    Some let me make you of the vowelled beeches,
    Some of the oaken voices, from the roots
    Of many a thorny shire tell you notes,
    Some let me make you of the water’s speeches.

    Behind a pot of ferns the wagging clock
    Tells me the hour’s word, the neural meaning
    Flies on the shafted disk, declaims the morning
    And tells the windy weather in the cock.
    Some let me make you of the meadow’s signs;
    The signal grass that tells me all I know
    Breaks with the wormy winter through the eye.
    Some let me tell you of the raven’s sins.

    Especially when the October wind
    (Some let me make you of autumnal spells,
    The spider-tongued, and the loud hill of Wales)
    With fists of turnips punishes the land,
    Some let me make you of the heartless words.
    The heart is drained that, spelling in the scurry
    Of chemic blood, warned of the coming fury.
    By the sea’s side hear the dark-vowelled birds.

    Dylan Thomas


  3. Autumn is indeed the ‘Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’…but it’s also the time of the Dias de los Muertos, All Saints/All Souls – so a time of reverence for the earth linking with reverence and remembrance of those gone before us. I do a lot of remembrance work and particularly love the poems of Wendell Berry. He ties the earth and the people, the past and the present together so beautifully…this one of his seems appropriate just at this moment…

    Wild Geese

    Horseback on Sunday morning,
    harvest over, we taste persimmon
    and wild grape, sharp sweet
    of summer’s end. In time’s maze
    over the fall fields, we name names
    that went west from here,
    names that rest on graves. We open
    a persimmon seed to find the tree
    that stands in promise,
    pale, in the seed’s marrow.
    Geese appear high over us,
    pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
    as in love or sleep, holds
    them to their way, clear,
    in the ancient faith: what we need
    is here. And we pray, not
    for new earth or heaven, but to be
    quiet in heart, and in eye
    clear. What we need is here.

    Wendell Berry


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