Thoughts which have been broiling round in my brain while driving round the Barossa these past few weeks as Vintage wraps up, have finally coalesced into a reasonable poem. (After a bit of a biological brush up on the process of leaf colour changing.)
with the arrival of mechanical harvesters
the Valley lost much of its vivid autumnal charm.
over violent shaking of the vines strips a quarter
or more of the leaf cover & startles the remainder
into a state of shock. though improved technology
has recently reduced the trauma & restored slightly
the brilliant explosions, breathtaking feast-your-eyes
yellow-golds, gorgeous scarlets, cheekblushing-crimsons,
redhued-rubies, winedark-purples, outrageous-oranges.
but still, slowly, the old ways die.
a smilier malaise is affecting the less prevalent,
but still present, deciduous population. normally
as daylight declines & the nights grow long & cold,
chlorophyll production slows as plants recycle
& ship to storage those molecules ready for next season.
the domineering chlorophyll, no longer in the ascendancy
allows the always-present but lushly masked
complex chemistry compounds called carotenoids,
yellows & oranges, to have their moment in the sun
(as it were); before the red, pink, & purple pigments
responsible for sunscreen, light protection & pest prevention
kick in to complete the slow motion fireworks display.
but this year’s long dry summer means unhealthy
water-stressed trees seem to be cutting their losses
carte blanche by snap-drying then rapidly dumping
instabrown dry paperwisps; terraforming the sky
to the same dusty brown as the droughtbaked dirt
BONUS POEM: April 24, 2018
A place Mum & I had to visit. & somewhere I think I’d love to live.
2019 EDIT: minor tweaks to improve flow, rejambed enjambment, & various images given extra bite. All in all, at least a 50% better poem than previous incarnation.
sitting on the Doc’s step
half in the world
the rest in my own head ;
limbo rambling in
artfully framed narrative ;
& the much messier
more inconveniently laid
out reality ; I sit on
his fake slate step —
wanting ; wishing ; hoping
to someday leave
such a through
for other daytrip