Poetry Shelf Occasional Poems: Jane Arthur’s ‘Autumn’


When autumn hits here, 
the leaves tend not to fall. 

They cling and quiver in the wind 
like our disappointment in them  

and the few that fall go slippery and annoy us. 
The light, though, thaws our cold hearts 

and we don’t even care we’re being cheesy 
for a moment or so. Who needs  

a new cliché? Not us, not 
when there are bigger things to worry about – 

and not when it’s still possible to put them aside 
to look at the low shadows, the glow 

of the evening sun across the branches 
of the trees that refuse to be anything but green. 

Jane Arthur

Jane Arthur lives in Pōneke, where she is manager and co-owner of a small bookshop. Her first poetry collection, Craven, was published by Te Herenga Waka University Press (then VUP) in 2019 and won the Jessie Mackay Award for best first book of poetry at the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. A second collection will be published in 2023.

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