Autumnal Storms by Philip Tew

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  A late autumnal sky frames us; 
 Seems domed, perpetual, and dark, 
 One might say sullen. It broods.
 Distant raggedy hedgerows obscure 
 Our side of an elusive horizon,
 As beneath two separate trees
 We gather firewood slowly,
 Bundling twigs, and fallen limbs. 
 Flocks of treetop birds protest—
 Reminiscent of your shrill objections
 At time spent scribbling silly poems— 
 Their spreading wings rising toward
 Intermittent clouds edging onward
 Like huge ungainly snails—the late sun
 Casts yet more dogged shadows which
 Dapple this copse and nearby fields—
 Indoors, I sense impending rain
 As interwoven branches sway and
 Loudly scratch bedroom windows.
 Later I slumber, fitfully—
 Awakened, your cutting words dog
 My every step as I depart—
 A sombre shadowed churchyard, 
 Accusatory sunlight and
 Glum at daybreak, my blinded eyes
 Bedazzled, spirit plummeting,
 Solitary, I sit and ponder—
 The storm arrives so abruptly,
 Soaked and shivering, as I watch 
 The wet leaves seem frantic, clinging to
 A wire-mesh fence, and like children
 Wailing fearfully, are swept away,
 Up they rise rapidly. I leave for home.
 A howl echoes: I hear your plaintive
 Cries, a wordless lamentation; 
 I am buffeted and overwhelmed—

BIO: Philip Tew lives in Enfield Wash in North London. He completed a doctorate in Creative Writing at Brunel University London in 2016. When younger he worked as a casual stagehand at the Coliseum opera house in Covent Garden. He was also variously a cable drum maker, van driver, play-leader, schoolteacher, and finally a Professor of English Literature. He has spent lock-down reworking various poems and drafting two semi-autobiographical novels. He is the Director of the annual Hillingdon Literary Festival. Philip’s most recent novel, Clark Gable and His Plastic Duck, focuses on a dystopic version of the 1990s after Thatcher has lost the Falklands War. It is available from Brigand Press.