Monday, April 6, 2009

Autumn Gold



We have just returned from a tour of Australia's Murray-Darling River area. Bowling along in the tour coach I was constantly reminded of the England of my youth, and the Autumn colours in particular. This was odd, because my old country was damp; my new country, Australia, is, for the most part, dry. Yet the gold-green-shadowy look was very nostalgic.
My illustrations are both enhanced. The English harvest is seen through an artist's eye (and reflects my dream-time.) The Australian drought is photographed at sunset, so the gold is intensified.
 Yet both illustrations capture my mood.

Note: the Murray-Darling area has not had 'good rains' since 1993!


In the damp domain where I was born
We always welcomed-in the corn.
It came and gilded everyone,
An echo of the summer sun.
The trees, still dark, though Autumn-tinted,
At a bleak and bitter Winter hinted;
Their shadows, lovely to behold,
Strewed grey-green on the corn's rich gold.
The trees so dark, the fields so bright;
They made a most enchanting sight.
Now, in my chosen Promised Land,
The same gold spreads on every hand.
Dry grass recalls the golden sheaves
And these trees will not lose their leaves.
The dryness brings a sense of dread;
'Drought' is a word that's best not said.
Folk take no pleasure from the scene
And yearn for farms awash with green.
Passers-by see suffering cattle,
Weary from their up-hill battle.
This glorious gold brings, with it, pain,
As a nation waits and waits for rain.
And yet, and yet, there lingers still
Something of that childhood thrill.
The trees, the shadows and the gold
Recall for me the days of old.
I sorrow, yet, with clarity,
I recall the joys that used to be.
The trees so dark, the fields so bright
Still make a most enchanting sight.


gautami tripathy said...

Awesome pictures. Liked the poem too..

SS: The Red Tent

Kill Word Verification

Mari Meehan said...

A wonderful reminder of my favorite time of the year, but just having gone through a horrendous winter I'm not at all anxious to see Autumn's return! Especially since I can read about it here!

Granny Smith said...

How lovely! My state of California has lots in common with Australia (where I once lived for a year). We are now in the midst of several years of scant rainfall, with reservoirs almost empty and some rationing in effect. Yet I love my bare brown hills of autumn when "dry grass recalls the golden sheaves."

Gemma Wiseman said...

Autumn golds do create a whispering sense of nostalgia. I have not wandered the Murray area for about 3 years now. (I used to drive from Melbourne to Sydney at least once a year to see my daughter. Now she comes to me!)

Your poem is magical, exploring that wistful mood beautifully!

Darlene said...

A lovely nostalgic poem. How often beauty masks something darker underneath.

Kat said...

Golden thoughts.
'Now' and 'then' :)