November

Poetry of the Year - November

Fireworks whistle past our ears,
lighting up the dark night
as sky-flowers, laden with stars,
blossom above the bonfire
in sparkling petals of starlight.
While hearts burst with joy,
November sets off with a bang
yet quickly fizzles in a flash.

The dark half of the year begins
with leaves rudely stripped
from their sleepy, frosty branch,
all the while the west wind
whittles transient trees to bone.
The woods are full of sound
as squirrels scurry and scamper,
secretly stashing their acorns.

Glorious, pulsating and soaking,
the relentless November rain
washes gardens and seeds away
with grey, heavy downpours,
as something deeper takes hold.
In the dying of autumn light,
ravens sit atop smoky chimneys
drying out iridescent feathers.

As Persephone returns to Hades,
we too must revisit darkness,
sleep awhile before we rise again,
for fading daylight demands
more logs for the inner soul-fire.
On this poet’s midlife birthday,
here in the autumn of her verses,
a Self is preparing to be born.

 

Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2019

26 thoughts on “November

  1. And still you turn on all the lights in poetry heaven!!!

    Deborah I spent the morning reading through your entire poetry of the year series and once more I doff my cap to you dear poet. If mornings are meant to be the best part of the day thank you for making mine. Enjoy the morning of your big day too. X

    1. Aww, that’s so lovely of you Picasso, thank you so much! I really hope you enjoyed them! Next year I’ll (hopefully!) be putting all my monthly poems into my 2nd poetry collection, “The Shepherd’s Daughter” … I’ll send you a link when it’s all up! Always wonderful to see you here Dear Poet! Love and light, Deborah.

  2. I stopped dead and reread the same phrase Hungry Fox quoted above three times! I was going to cite it again here, but the sly Fox beat me to it! Really lovely. I also loved “…while the west wind whittles transient trees to bone.”

    Your poem fills me with longing for some of the more striking seasonal reminders of our Mother’s cycles that you northerners enjoy each year. Here in Florida we don’t have frost yet, and no blustery winds, so most of our trees still have all their leaves. No bonfires, no fireworks, no heavy downpours. So your poem was a very welcome reminder of Mother’s magical cycles of death and rebirth.

    I, too, have experienced the exhaustion Elaine mentions of being too busy at this time of year. Coincidentally, I felt it acutely upon awakening yesterday morning (the 3rd). Fortunately, I also awoke with the memory of a dream that said my energy was being depleted. (In the dream, someone was secretly siphoning money out of our bank account!) Once I got the message, I cancelled plans for later in the day so I could stay in and rest. That choice — to be true to myself — turned out to be all that was needed for a full return of psychic energy.

    I love that you have also learned to follow the wisdom of your inner guide. Had you not, we would not be blessed with this year’s rich assortment of seasonal poems. I can’t wait to see where ‘she’ takes you next year. Warmest blessings, Jeanie

    1. Thank you so much Jeanie for your truly wonderful reply! Hmm, I got carried away with alliteration at one point and had to stop myself! At present in the UK we’re experiencing torrential downpours, windstorms and serious flooding … the heavy November rain just keeps on a-coming, proving to be very hard work during the bonfire and firework season!

      Yes, the late autumn collective tiredness has now descended, especially in the UK with all the Brex(sh)it shenanigans and you couldn’t make it up, a December general election to top it off! Ha-Ha! Joking aside, it sounds as though you did the right thing yesterday by cancelling plans and putting your feet up. Oh, the deep wisdom and mystery of dreams is best followed for sure!

      I have no idea what I’ll be writing next year but after a bit of a winter’s snooze I’m sure I’ll be back to writing poetry in no time … although I do feel something new stirring below in the pregnant darkness. Warm autumnal blessings, Deborah.

  3. Thank you, Deborah. I feel your warmth from far away. Your poem helps me notice how I resist going down by getting too busy this time of year. I need a better balance with the Persephone who must become the Dark Queen and reside in the Underworld for a while. If I resist descent, it’s easy to swing between anxiety and depression. The weather has been wild and cold here and it tightens my body and psyche.
    Inside my house, Hestia rules the hearth and my pups lie near the warm wood stove, warming their bones. I need more of this.

    I love your images, dear poet, especially the leaves stripped from the trees. The wind howled a few days ago and leaves flew in every direction. I felt stripped, too. Sending you warm winter fires and days bright with low winter sunshine.
    Elaine

    1. Thank you so much Elaine for your warm-hearted review of my poem! I agree, if I resist Persephone’s dark descent at this time of the year, I quickly find myself struggling with exhaustion, an early predictor I’m resisting! Hmm, I’ve never thought about this before but perhaps being born during the time of her descent is more significant than I’ve realised? Scorpio women & the Dark Queen, are certainly aligned … hmm, there’s lots for me to muse on here!

      Oh, I love the thought of you, Willow and Joy (or has her name morphed into another yet?) all snuggled up, warming yourselves beside the wood stove with the Goddess Hestia and her power of light, fire and warmth keeping you all warm and nourished well. Here in the UK the wind is ripping the leaves from trees, my garden looks like it’s been fitted with a golden carpet made up from beech and ash leaves. Warm autumnal blessings, Deborah.

  4. This is just wonderful Deborah – you have really brought to life the picture of November starting with one final burst of life as wind and rain blows in before it turns to a dark, dreary silence and we commence our journey within to rest, reflect and prepare for another turn of the wheel of the year.

    “Pulsating and soaking” it certainly is here right now – in fact it feels like it has rained for weeks, I have to say the colder, crisp weather of late November and December will be very welcome as will the opportunity this month gives to catch up with my Self!!

    Thank you for yet another beautifully written verse Deborah and wishing you many birthday blessings. Sophia

    1. Thank you so much Sophia for your birthday wishes and truly wonderful comment on my poem! By undertaking this series of monthly nature poems this year, I feel that I’ve had my eyes opened in ways I never could of imagined. It’s like I’m seeing and sensing woodlands (in particular) for the very first time … as each month passes, the changes although subtle become clearly evident. The joy of witnessing the rhythms of the year continues to be incredible!

      Oh, as I’m typing I can hear more fireworks exploding and the sky, once more, is full of autumn’s shimmering star-flowers. Warm autumnal blessings, Deborah.

  5. Early birthday wishes to you Deborah! This is one of the best poems you’ve written this year. The writing is beautiful. From your opening fireworks to Persephone’s mythical departure each verse has been filled with the alchemy of November. All the best, Anna.

    1. Wow! You love this one too! Oh I’m really chuffed now, thank you so much Anna for your birthday wishes and your beautiful reply to my poem. In answering Aladin (see my first comment below) I’ve posted a link to a series of five “November” articles that you may enjoy (I think all my readers will enjoy them!) … take a look and see what you think. And in pure synchronicity one of them is titled, “The Alchemy of November”… you couldn’t make it up! Warm autumnal wishes, Deborah.

      1. I could not resist.

        Synchronicity is an ever present reality for those who have eyes to see – Carl Jung.

        1. I love that quote! Thank you for sharing. Last night I dreamt about a friend who died many years ago, I don’t think that was a coincidence either … especially on Halloween night. It was more like a friendly visitation or that’s the way I felt on waking.

  6. Is this your best yet? I wonder Deborah – it is truly lovely and acknowledges so beautifully the need to go from the outer landscape to the inner one. I must say, as I was reading it, I was thinking I love this landscape .. and the image of logs on the inner-fire is profound.

    Here in the Cape, on the southern tip of Africa, we have what is known as the Cape Doctor, the easterly winds that blow like the blazes toppling trees, inverting umbrellas, upending skirts and the like, but it is know as the ‘doctor’ as it blows all that is dead energy, making space for new and fresh ..

    A VERY happy birthday to you! May the day bring joy, peace, radiance, love, warmth and cake! Keep warm in the coolth! Warm blessings –

    1. Thank you so much Susan for your birthday blessings and wonderful review! Best?! Wow, I’m over the moon that you enjoyed my “November” poem so much! Yes, tis time here for us (in the much cooler and colder northern hemisphere, unlike the glorious summer you’re fast approaching!) to hibernate, return below, to our inner darkness and throw another log on Psyche’s hungry fire.

      Oh, I didn’t know about the Cape Doctor, so thank you for sharing this info. And I love the mythology of those easterly winds … just read on Wikipedia, “It is known as the Cape Doctor because of a local belief that it clears Cape Town of pollution and pestilence”. I think we’re in for a bit of windstorm here in the UK tonight and over the weekend too … hmm, it should clear away many cobwebs (above and below) in the process.

      Although my birthday falls towards the middle of the month … Oops! the cake eating has already begun! Warm autumnal, and springtime blessings, Deborah.

  7. “all the while the west wind
    whittles transient trees to bone.”

    Deborah, you’re an exquisite poet & word artist!! I love this poem with its great form and sound repetitions. November is THE month for bonfires and fireworks so I’m pleased to see you’ve included them in your poem. When you get there, Happy Birthday Dear Poet!! HF

    1. Ha-Ha! I did get carried away there! Thank you so much Henry for your lovely birthday wishes and kind-hearted response. Yes, November is “the” bonfire and fireworks month isn’t it! Last night we watched and listened to many a whistling (oops another w!) firework take to the night sky in the midst of many ghoulish sound repetitions! It was fun! Warm autumnal wishes, Deborah.

  8. By crikey that was good! Such a beautiful tribute to this magical time of year when Autumn colours fade and frost covered branches sparkle. You have inspired me to pay even closer attention. Advance birthday wishes Deborah.

    1. Thank you so much Bookworm for your birthday wishes and beautiful, poetic reply! Especially … “when autumn colours fade and frost covered branches sparkle”. A touch of the poet there for sure! I’ve put a link (The Paris Review) below to some articles you might enjoy all about November.

  9. Wow! Dearest Deborah, I just wondered how you could describe this month; November, which has been not so beloved by many; especially here in Germany. Maybe because of, it’s the darkest month of the year. But you with your wonderful words made it a fascinating one 😉 Thank you so much and I’m much appreciated to have the chance to be the first one who read and commented on it 😀 It’s because I can take the benefit of this day as a holiday; in some of the states in Germany in which they are Catholics, they celebrate this day as “All Sants’ Day” (Allerheiligen) and visit the cemeteries to remember their lost dear ones. Thank you again and wish you a wonderful weekend <3 <3

    1. Oh, thank you so much Aladin for your lovely visit and wonderful response to my poem! Apart from it being my birthday month, (yes another Scorpio poet here!) I do love late autumn and read yesterday that … ““November is a hinge in the year, and the door gets opened to ghosts” which makes sense following Halloween and the time when many of our dearly beloved ancestors come visiting.

      Yes, I’d forgotten that today is “All Saints Day”. Enjoy your holiday and the forthcoming weekend! Yay! Thank you for being my first November visitor! And on that same theme yesterday I read five amazing articles @ The Paris Review all about November entitled “Novemberance” https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/columns/novemberance/ which you might enjoy! Warm autumnal wishes, Deborah.

      1. Thank you lovely friend, it will develope me in my feeling towards November
        I want to wish you here a wonderful birthday my dear Scorpio, my son’s been also born in this month and I know him as a generous wonderful man, therefore, the born ones this month don’t sting but they have much love and intelligence have a great time dearest ❤❤

        1. Aww, thank you so much Aladin for your wonderful birthday wishes! Well I won’t deny that I do have a sting in my tail (very handy at times!), however, with my birth moon in Libra and being a true water sign more than compensates. I agree, Scorpio men are often the most generous of souls! Whatever you’re up to this weekend, enjoy! ❤❤

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