Is ridiculous in its beauty.
It shames me that I can see it.
It is more than Constable.
More than Bob Ross.
Brushstroke trees, style it out.
Ablaze in amber.
Behind, bit part actors.
Form a wash of ruddy forest
Feathering down the hill.
A stark hedge cracks through the centre.
It’s all there.
The winter sky, the well-placed wooden electricity pole.
I’m building you a comforting landscape,
Like a net curtain. A bit hazy.
Like me, you can watch it, unseen.
I stand cold on hard kitchen tile,
I watch outside my window.
A leaf, orange and brittle,
Skips down a cage of branches.
The last one,
Hangs like a battered flag.
Its fingers are empty now,
Thin hands can only thrust,
Pointing, mean, at the sky.
No need to make sadness of the tree.
Or the leaf.
It is part of the process.
The glint of red as sun hits the branches,
New wood, ripens as it always does.
We all know how it ends and begins.
But can’t we feel sad?
Because we know all this.
Can we not?
I take a photo
(because I am human and trying to prove my existence.)
It gives me:
Particles of light, reassembled.
They come with names.
I give them meaning.
I look at my photo.
It returns to me an image of light and colour, as I wanted.
It took it apart, put it back together.
But now distorted,
To edges, forms and lines, more drawn.
Is it still my view?
The last leaf.
It will not be seen again.
Not in a photo, or memory.
I will be sad about the tree. And the leaf.
We do not know.
Standing on kitchen tiles
Looking at my view.
It won’t come round again.
I return to my view.
(Because I am human and crave beauty.)
Birds flicker on the tree.
Dancing on the graves of branches,
They bounce lightly, with joy.
Shifting the light.
– Robin Pridy