Gull loch, late November

Gull Loch, late November


Solid rain again for days,

has saturated the just-drained land

the day’s dry sunlight shines

on hoof-print pools and deep 

unexpected soft-mud drops.


The squidge and squelch of wet matter,

decomposing mash of fallen leaves and berries,

splintered fragments of rotting wood-stumps,

bobble lumps of windfall crab-apples

snapped layers of sticks and twigs

and sprinkling of fir-needles,

sucked down into this liquid mix.


Water is audible everywhere, 

bubbling and rushing down silty strands,

secretly filling new-found dips and channels.


Where fallen fronds touch the surface

a foamy build-up gathers above 

the swirling scoops and drops 

in the stream-bed flow. 


Birch tree-tips hold on to 

their very last-leaves, a dozen each

resolutely clinging atop springy sticks. 


Firework larches have lost their sparkle

in the damp, now a dull-brown softness

waiting to carpet the woodland floor. 

Lichen-plated blackthorn limbs reach out, 

encrusted with pale coralloid protrusions

and lace-fine clumps of fibrous filaments.


Colour gives way to texture now

as autumn fades and bareness creeps closer. 

A time of stripping down,

a complexity beyond comprehension,

removal of the green cacophony leaf by leaf.

A time of revealment, 

only to find another design

of unfathomable structure beneath.