AUTUMN’S LAST CALL

A poem by Marcus Smith, capturing the energy, atmosphere and excitement that hangs in the air before an adventure. Illustration by Stuart Patience.

The leaves on the oak snapping hard
against each stem binding them fast
are straining to join a silver wind

and somersault into autumn’s sky
to float with the current air and move
with stars, starlings, clouds and smoke,

the leaves that must escape their stems
for the outstretched arms of adventure
and one day do blow free, tumble

across fields to funnel through cities,
to run in red parks, run in the streets
with storms of traffic, then flame out

like brash comets and shrivel and rattle
over cold hard pavement where crushed
and buried when longing to return

to trees and growing and greening
as they once were in a pattern fixed
and clinging before tearing away.


To ensure that you never miss a future issue of the print magazine, subscribe from just £10 a year.