For who would think to haul over thistles and wet grass

to the dead centre of this Sussex wood

a cabinet of such fine and fragile workings.

At dusk the player musters arms and legs,

pipes and bellows in a dance of many angles.

It’s true: the chords of a harmonium are autumn

and a blackbird’s singing is a fado and

a thrush’s joining voice is as a homesick child

and an owl remembers nothing but the lovely one

who’s gone and used to answer with a sigh.

And autumn is the cling of sadness in the night

and autumn brown the turnings of the mind.


Katharine Towers 2018