Poem in October

Poem in October

It was my thirtieth year to heaven

Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood

And the mussel pooled and the heron

Priested shore

The morning beckon

With water praying and call of seagull and rook

And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed
wall


Myself to set foot

That second

In the still sleeping town and set forth.

My birthday began with the water-

Birds and the birds of the winged trees flying my
name


Above the farms and the white horses

And I rose

In rainy autumn

And walked abroad in a shower of all my days.

High tide and the heron dived when I took the road

Over the border

And the gates

Of the town closed as the town awoke.

A springful of larks in a rolling

Cloud and the roadside bushes brimming with
whistling


Blackbirds and the sun of October

Summery

On the hill’s shoulder,

Here were fond climates and sweet singers suddenly

Come in the morning where I wandered and listened

To the rain wringing

Wind blow cold

In the wood faraway under me.

Pale rain over the dwindling harbour

And over the sea wet church the size of a snail

With its horns through mist and the castle

Brown as owls

But all the gardens

Of spring and summer were blooming in the tall
tales


Beyond the border and under the lark full cloud.

There could I marvel

My birthday

Away but the weather turned around.

It turned away from the blithe country

And down the other air and the blue altered sky

Streamed again a wonder of summer

With apples

Pears and red currants

And I saw in the turning so clearly a child’s

Forgotten mornings when he walked with his mother

Through the parables

Of sun light

And the legends of the green chapels

And the twice told fields of infancy

That his tears burned my cheeks and his heart
moved in mine.


These were the woods the river and sea

Where a boy

In the listening

Summertime of the dead whispered the truth of his
joy


To the trees and the stones and the fish in the
tide.


And the mystery

Sang alive

Still in the water and singingbirds.

And there could I marvel my birthday

Away but the weather turned around. And the true

Joy of the long dead child sang burning

In the sun.

It was my thirtieth

Year to heaven stood there then in the summer noon

Though the town below lay leaved with October
blood.


O may my heart’s truth

Still be sung

On this high hill in a year’s turning.


Dylan Thomas

A Thirtieth birthday is important, it marks the transition from unthinking and joyful youth to the beginnings of wisdom and worldly concerns. It is unlikely that the heart’s truth will be celebrated in a years time, rather that the vagaries of our childhood upbringing will come to have an increasing effect on the possibilities open to us. WE thought we owned the world but the world owns us snd decides our fate without our permisssion.  Indeed on that birthday, for us as for the poet, the ‘weather turned around’ and life began to unravel the dark side of our personaility which hitherto had gone unrecognised except in the occasional but inexplicable outburst of fury at what life has served up to us. 

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About barrywhit

I am a retired engineer and I live in darkest Lincolnshire, UK. I am an author and when I retired, published a book in 2004 and another one in April 2008. I am now also a retired author!! If you have ever written a book you will understand what I mean. I am interested in science, aviation, philosophy, spirituality , politics, progressive rock painting (art not rooms) and films. I prefer wide open spaces to city centres. Lincolnshire has the biggest skies in the country and I love it. I am a left wing, liberal Anglican, I read The Guardian and Observer. I am a Republican at heart and an armchair communist!
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