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.