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.