Writing practice had to wait. The sun was shining. There were (and still are) garden tasks that need to be done that are a much greater pleasure administered without wet and wind. I grew up on a continent that called these autumn days ‘Indian summer.’ The phrase caught on in the British Isles, which I find patently perplexing. Or perhaps it is just another case of cultural colonisation. Or misappropriation. It was the Columbus Day holiday in the States on October 8th. There has been a movement in past years to rename the holiday Samoset, or Indigenous People’s Day.

Such is the day. It may be a last opportunity to throw all the windows open. So at 3pm I pause and take up my pen today. When I finish there are some tulip bulbs, crocus and narcissi that need my attention.


There is nothing particularly
Indigenous about
sultry, sunny days
with clear azure sky
in October
in Europe

on a day we wish
we had not been so precipitate
in packing away
the short sleeves
the ankle socks
on this day
with the mercury pointing
to 20 degrees C

unseasonal, yes
a little surreal, yes
(given wooly blankets already on beds)
but nothing subcontinent
to the east
or Amerindian
to the west
at all

A solitary magpie
sits in the willow tree,
sermonising the suet ball feeder.
One for sorrow –
that it’s no longer just
a change in weather.
It’s the climate.
Our over-hearing planet
Is all.

Copyright 2018 Bee Smith

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