Friday, 17 October 2014

Season changes, clocks move back ..... by Miriam Halahmy

September has always been on of my favourite times of the year. I was a teacher for 30 years and by the end of the six week break, I was ready to get back to school and get on with the job. August always seemed to be a rather tired out month to me -  a bit of a con.

This is the poem I wrote about August, published in my collection, Cutting Pomegranates :-

 Cheating on me
         © Miriam Halahmy

Here comes August
old prostitute
flowers faded in her red-dyed hair.

She struts her green stuff
along days already crisp-edged,
nights dark before ten.

All through parched June
classroom stiff with tired bodies
I dream of holiday

cheer myself hoarse at sports day
comfort the losers.
I wave my girl off to camp

then it’s my turn;
air laced with that carbon cocktail.

As we shave short the lawn
lock up, head for the hills
the sun angle shifts;

in see-through vest
you tease us, August,
long-limbed shadow of winter.

But September is a time to sit up, take stock and embrace the change of season. Conkers ripen on the trees, leaves are crisp and crunchy underfoot and there is a smell in the air of carbon which heralds the great annual change from the mantle of spring to the stripped bare landscape of winter. The nights are drawing in, adults start muttering about putting on the central heating and the final grass cut of the year is only a couple of weeks away.

Out on the streets the kids are walking, biking, chewing and chattering their way to school in new uniforms, massive backpacks on their shoulders.
And writers are facing their September. Back to neglected laptops and dust piled desks, mounds of books, research notes, coffee cups rimmed with stains forgotten since July. The diary is jam packed with visits, blogposts to write ( like this one) requests, demands, hundreds of emails screaming for attention, meetings, hesitant enquiries to editors/agents/reviewers/ commissioners/ returning from their holidays to mounds of similar requests and running to catch themselves before everything slides off their desks.

September is a too short month and it seems as though it flies by the seat of the pants, tumbling into October and finally there's time to breathe. The diary is set, the final warmth of summer is gone, the nights are dark and there's time to sit back, take stock, read the pile of books leftover from summer on the beach and spend some time with friends.

I need this change over to galvanise me into a winter of work. But without the fresh impetus of September after the final clocking down days of the summer, I don't think I would ever be ready to enter the long dark tunnel of winter and make good use of the time to write.

Changeover times - we all need them.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely poem! Yes we do, Miriam, although I have to admit to still hankering for another summer. I'm not sure I'm ready for the onslaught of winter