A third October

For Martin: 21.2.38 – 07.10.18

It's here again, the gold leaf season.
Amongst the dispossessed of poplar
and willow, silver collects.

A river in full spate. Fish and fly
act out their hunger games.
Below reeled lines, the keep nets fill.

Greying hair, black ink. She writes
his name and weaves half-rhymes
round labyrinth.

Heron, hunched and dull
like an old consort, takes sudden flight.
Water draws rings round emptiness.

Colours seep from the end of day.
Pen and rod, a handful of leaves
my direction, home, without you.

Björn has chosen as our Meeting the Bar challenge: The Cadralor – a five stanza poem of equal lines, each a stand alone visual which come together in the final with a sense of yearning [see here]

50 thoughts on “A third October

    1. thanks for hosting with this new form and as the French saying goes: Plus ça change, plus c’est la même. I think you just summarized what I tried to achieve here!

  1. I think you really nailed the form, Laura. The imagery of your poetry is always so vivid and real, perhaps reflecting your skills as a photographer? My favourite image is of the ‘Heron, hunched and dull/like an old consort.’ And that last line’s a heartbreaker!

    1. thank you – I liked your comment Ingrid not least because I struggle with photography as well as poetry – each trying to do the same thing!

  2. Oh my heart! This is incredibly deep and hard-hitting, Laura. You have captured the essence of October so well here. I especially love; “A river in full spate. Fish and fly act out their hunger games.”💝💝

  3. This is so poignant, Laura–the changing of the seasons, and the return to emptiness (“Without you.”) I liked how each stanza also seemed to include silver or grey–or in the last stanza, a loss of color.

    1. thank you Merril though I was not sure if that broke the rule of discrete separateness for each stanza so tried to water down that colour connection!

  4. Beautifully poignant piece…..the thread is there and executed beautifully.
    “She writes
    his name and weaves half-rhymes
    round labyrinth.” Beautiful words here.
    Colors leaving he day….autumn’s colors dry….and then the direction, home, without you.
    Beautifully writ.

    1. with this form it felt like we had to conjure 5 beads and only the threading of the last one joined the bracelet! Easier said than done so thanks for your reassuring appreciation Lillian –

  5. The title prepares the reader for the passing of time. Knowing this is about your husband, “A sudden flight.
    Water draws rings round emptiness… Colours seep from the end of day… my direction, home, without you” is acutely felt as an observer. Laura, so sorry.

  6. Excellent! Though brief, each of your stanzas presents such a vivid scene, and your final stanza sums up the longing in each of the others.

  7. Sad and beautiful verses. This line captures so much emotion in the piece, “Water draws rings round emptiness.” Stellar writing!

    1. the rippling circles that spread from a given splash point reminded me of the Japanese enso circle of the void or no-thing so I’m glad you picked up on that one – thank you Tricia

  8. “Water draws rings round emptiness.”

    Such a poignant line


  9. Beautiful words. My heart goes out to you as I remember my mother who died on this day in 1995. So long ago and yet the day remains vivid in my mind.

    “my direction, home, without you.”


    1. I think of you too and rather like the fact that we have this day in common Jude – even though it be a sad one. It adds something to our virtual friendship x

  10. Beautiful imagery, specially the third and last stanza. Crisp and sharp colors, as well as the emptiness. Emotions restrained under the skillful pen of the writer.

    1. what a lovely comment Grace – its a struggle to write of emotions in a restrained way – neither detached nor effusive. Was grateful to the Cadralor as the form helped shape the feelings

  11. The images from each stanza wove a beautiful tapestry of life and its changing colors as we experience heartache. I think even the hunched over heron was probably grey. Your last stanza was so moving. I’m sorry for your loss Laura.

  12. Laura,
    I haven’t seen the form done any better. October as a season of loss, loneliness, grieving, fishing, as life goes on around you “in full spate”, their “hunger games” with their double meaning, as one hungers after one who is no longer there. Just wonderfully conceived and executed.

    1. thank you for your very generous comment – you are astute as ever Dora – I only noticed the ‘hunger’ element after posting yet it is an important thread both literally and symbolically

  13. I love the fishing line that connects through these stanzas and then how you cut it loose at the end. Very clever.

  14. “It’s here again….home, without you” brackets this beautiful poem about the small things that are so important, and our endless quest to recapture them. One of those poems I wish I’d written (but then, I don’t know how to fish!)

  15. This is truly stunning, Laura. I must cite this stanza:

    “Heron, hunched and dull
    like an old consort. A sudden flight.
    Water draws rings round emptiness.”

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