Dad’s Mahonia

Every year, 22nd November marks the day on which my dad died in 2004. It’s been fourteen years now. Mum followed five years later. It was as if something in her began to leave soon after Dad passed … 

The mahonia in our garden is one that Dad gave us years ago. It’s still here, weathered but flowering. The photo is from now. The poem I wrote some years ago, after Dad died. It is included in my book The Green Gate. 


November Again

The mahonia dad gave us. yellow spiklets. november its month. dad’s too. everything spent. a mess of ruddies. last berries shrunk. we dry, then fall. disguise this fact (roots coming through).

Blake’s sunflower. over in the veg patch. weary of time. blazed in summer. dad a leo. self-made-man. (no such thing?) bent like that. spines go. things go. natural. why sad then?

Wind picking up. leafy swirl. red rhus. orange. final flare. egremont russet. windfall apples. the house that dad built. way back where.

Leaf lets go. leaf goes. mulch. but love – why that then?




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