Returned Again

Last time I came here it was the high end of summer.
Farm vehicles were working in the fields
and paired Red Kites circled above the trees.

Now, the tracks have filled with clay-coloured puddles.
Not one day without rain, has passed in October this year.
Not until today.

And the leaves on the trees, there’s less of them.
Yet the scene as a whole appears adequately filled out,
with the addition of reds and yellows.

The hidden forest animals have beaten me
to all the pine cones and acorns
and the birds have taken away the berries.

Mushrooms edge the dampened pathways,
They remain, changing colour
underneath this rare autumn sunshine.

King Conker

Turned my ankle over on a shiny super hard conker,
laid on the pavement, fallen from an urban horse chestnut tree.
If only I was now a whole big bunch of decades younger,
I’d have strung it and obliterated all of my rivals

during break time, in crowded conker competitions at school,
challengers failing to crack my golden brown miracle find.
Proclaimed as champ and regarded as exceptionally cool,
perhaps the resulting confidence would have changed my whole life.