Wood-smoke blowing in writhing sheets
beneath grey skies laden with impending rain
The ground gritty with fallen, gnarled acorns
And the outer shells of horse chestnut,
The shining conkers lying shyly among leaves
Fallen first from the laden boughs.
A smell of spice, illusory and fleeting
From the foliage turning slowly golden
Crisping slightly with autumn suns
Too brief to warm the earth much
Beyond the surface of the soil.
Birds tug at berries, peck at brambles
Seeking sweetness they cannot taste.
The rain comes at last, changing the scents
Filling the air with petrichor and promise.
We hunker down, collars turned
And make for home and hearth.