November Arrives on the Coast

It is not the rain that leaves
me here, not that this place
can hold me with its gray wind,
but something about the turning
of the year into a new season
makes me stay to watch what remains.

It is not that much remains,
I saw that almost everything leaves.
When the rain brings on this season,
the year becomes an empty place
and the scraps of the days are turning
in the anger of the thickening wind.

I keep changing with the wind;
I feel the fear that remains
when the year begins turning
against me, when all the leaves
set out for another place,
and I am alone with the season.

But this is my season
and not even the strength of the wind
can blow me from this place.
I am what remains
when all else leaves
--the only thing not turning.

The landscape never begins turning
real or concrete. It will only season
the air with all the colours of leaves
carried in the dense wind
that carries all the remains
from this, into another place.

I grow deeper: here I find a place
that is mine alone. I am turning
into a tree that remains
even now, in this season.
I draw back from the wind,
but it is never me that leaves.

This is the place where the leaves
are turning in the northern wind,
where the remains of the year turn into a season.

Copyright © Neile Graham, 1983. All rights reserved.
Previously published in Seven Robins.

Sample poems

From Blood Memory

(at The Alsop Review): Story 1 § Sleeping With Lambs § Furious § The Basement Exit § Paper Rock Scissors Stone Water Air § Storyteller Talking At The End of Her Days § You Designed the Map § Ravenous § Tuppence in Pocket § Sheela-na-Gig § A Course in Sadness

(here onsite): The Skin of our Teeth § Woman at the Edge of the World

From Spells for Clear Vision

My Grandmother's Photograph § Washing at Sunset § Midfire § Hero at the Gates of Hell

From Seven Robins

Heart of Stone § November Arrives on the Coast § Seven Robins § Sky is that Moment § St. Maudlin (La Folle)

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