I decided I had to post a poem in honour of All Ireland Poetry Day. The choice was easy as I’ve been looking back at Summer, feeling the familiar relief that it’s over and Autumn, in all its fiery brilliance is gaining prominence. I know many would disagree with me but I find Summer long and drifting with very little to focus on. It’s the time of year when I feel most lost. Of course it has its benefits. I love walking on the beach and have a childish inkling to collect stones and paddle at any opportunity. I also enjoy daytrips and holidays. But I am not a big fan of heat, humidity and that pressure to enjoy yourself that accompanies Summer.
I have always found Autumn to be a season of promise with its flush of colours, its daring chill. In Autumn I look forward to brisk walks accompanied by diving leaves, rustling branches and the wind at my back, urging me on. Then there’s the cosy nights in, the smell of firewood and that all important trip to the shop to buy hot chocolate.
I believe these feelings are rooted in childhood. Although September brought the new school year it also inspired great excitement. My mum used to walk me and my friend to school and there would always be a tempting selection of crunchy leaves for us to stamp upon along the way. There was also Halloween to look forward to, when I would proudly show off my shiny carved pumpkin in class. I remember the little procession from our classroom to the school hall, swinging a mixture of illuminated turnips and pumpkins, grim little faces that brought us so much joy. Then there was my birthday in early November. In those days it was the trend to invite the whole class. I used to invite all the girls plus my male cousin. He never complained anyway!
I remember one year in particular. My parents hired ‘The Mermaid’ hotel in Mumbles. I had never been so excited in my life. We even had an entertainer. Looking back, I wonder how she got hired at all. The woman must have been in her seventies and seemed to be suffering from a distinct lack of creative vision. All I remember her doing was blowing up a few balloons. I suppose we just had to be grateful that didn’t give her palpitations! Oh . . . maybe she did organise a few games but they were just the usual, you know ‘Dead Lions’, ‘Musical Statues’, ‘Musical Chairs’ and ‘Pass the Parcel.’ Mum and Dad must have been fairly unimpressed as they never hired anyone again. A year or so later Mum organised the most amazing treasure hunt at home. But, that’s another story . . .
At the time I felt very important. There I was surrounded by school friends, a little old lady directing the games and music and me in my best party dress. Of course there was still Bonfire Night and Christmas to look forward to after that. So maybe now you understand why I am happy to wave goodbye to Summer and why I hope if I have a child he / she will be born in Autumn or Winter. That’s what the last line of the poem is about. The preceding reference to hair is not a hint at my secret werewolf heritage! It alludes to the fact that I have always had long hair and it can be a bit of a menace in Summer but a blessing in Winter.
All Ireland Poetry Day: Summer Broom by K. S. Moore.