“And traveller’s joy beguiles in autumn
Hearts that have lost their own”.

A. E. Housman ~ Tell me not here – It needs not saying

wild clematis is feathering the hedgerows still
yards of parachute silken seedheads
whitening winter before snowfall
it gladdens the hearts of travellers they say*
those who tread tarmac, the homeward homeless

your dying has changed all direction
and I’m struggling to my feet – again

*Clematis vitalba – wild clematis with many local names including traveller’s joy , old man’s beard and hedge feathers

A personally apposite and timely prompt from De for this week’s quadrille: Change


  1. Heavens. This line is stunning:
    “your dying has changed all direction”

    I am so captivated by that. What it might mean. What it must mean. Those last two lines together are just wonderful.


  2. Beautiful. Loved all the language in the first stanza, especially “whitening winter before snowfall”. Gorgeous. And “the homeward homeless” is excellent.


  3. The loss of a loved one changes everything. The void it leaves in our world is like a vacuum, sucking in our heart, our peace, our joy – and can be insatiable. Only the distance of time diminishes its pull – but the emptiness remains, until we can fill it with new light.


  4. “whitening winter before snowfall” is incredibly evocative and beautiful in describing the emotions when a loved one has passed away.. transitioned to a better world. Sending love, prayers and hugs! 🌼🌼


  5. I adore the flowering imagery and their meaning – and with change often comes struggle – but we are stronger for it!


  6. As soon as I read the opening lines, I saw the ‘yards of parachute silken seedheads’ in the hedgerows and thought of travellers’ joy, a name I’ve always loved, Laura! I like the use of alliteration in the line ‘whitening winter before snowfall’, which evokes clouds of breath on cold air. Change struggles through the landscape and into the final lines. It is hard to get back on your feet after such a loss, but one does get there. You are creating such beautiful poetry on the way.


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