Tag Archives: children

Autumn symphony


from this
lofty window seat,
I watch the world below
in constant motion,
unaware of me.

if walkers looked this way,
I would be in their line of view,
but they seldom do.
they stroll by,
singly or in sets,
taking the air;
shooting the breeze;
pausing to roll a cigarette;
or, intent on their beckoning agenda
they rush forth, their eye on what is ahead;
unaware of the golden carpet of leaves,
which brush their swinging feet
as they shimmy with the wind.

children, freed from school,
skip alongside mums with buggies,
or dawdle, solumn and tired;
clutching thin bookbags,
with little thought of
kicking down the street
in a stream of prancing leaves,
to hear the rustling scratch.

 I don’t understand
the reason
they cannot see;
each burnished relic
from this summer’s growth
is a work of art to be treasured,
and when massed together
they are an orchestra,
impatient to play
an autumn symphony.

©Jane Paterson Basil


Today, I spilled some washing powder on my bedroom carpet, and before I got around to clearing it away, my daughter and twenty-month old grandson, Alex, turned up. Alex has a routine when he visits. It begins with him trying to make it to the living-room windowsill before I manage to get all my breakable objects out of the way, and then he quickly repairs to my bedroom to see what fun is to be had in there.

Today, after losing the battle of the breakable bottles, he ran quickly to the bedroom, as was to be expected. He immediately spotted the washing powder and paused to give it a disapproving look, before dashing into the kitchen, grabbing my tea towel from its home on the oven rail, and running back to the bedroom with it. He crouched down and gave the powder a quick wipe, then dropped the teatowel on top of the washing powder, thereby concealing it from view.

Job done.

Naturally, Claire and I praised him for his heroic efforts, and he looked appropriately proud of himself.

Five hours later the tea towel is still there, with the powdery mess underneath it. It’s lovely to have such a considerate grandchild to clear up after me. I’m hoping he’ll show up tomorrow and paint my bathroom. I can’t remember where I put the paintbrushes, but I’m sure the enterprising little boy will manage somehow.

©Jane Paterson Basil