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John Keats, by William Hilton (died 1839). See...

St Crispin’s Day, sighed Brassie, my close-bosom friend.

The nights are drawing in. This weekend we change the clocks,

don’t we?  Which way?

Fall back; Spring forward, I reminded her.

(She can never remember in which direction to adjust her timekeepers.)

Think about it like this: tights down. Tights, as in stalactites.  My teacher said

they hung down.  But people are hanged. She also recited: One ‘l’ lama he’s a

priest; two ‘l’ llama he’s a priest, but you can bet your silk pyjama, there isn’t

any three ‘l’ lllama.

Dalai Lama at WhiteHouse (cropped).jpg

Why should tights hang down?  Wolford ones don’t. And shouldn’t it have

been ‘pyjamas’? remarked Brassie.  Anyway, what are you

talking about?

Just deliberating on my life and how it has fallen into the sere..

You sound a bit depressed, she stated bluntly.

I can’t help the pathetic fallacy of the season.  Keats was too upbeat in my


I wouldn’t exactly have called him a glass half full kind of guy, objected


Suppose he had written about Autumn thus, I volunteered, pushing a

sheet of A4 in her direction.


Season of fogs, mouldy putrefaction,

enemy of the geriatric sun,

bringing depression, dissatisfaction,

blasting the mildewed fruit trees, one by one;

tainting blackberries with lead pollution,

eroding limestone buildings as the air

saturates with sulphuric solution.

Emissions from cars, whose owners don’t care

make children’s lungs bloat as they breathe exhaust

fumes more deadly than poppy opiates:

an inspiration of enormous cost-

harvest to be garnered at future dates.

Who has not seen them oft amid their stores,

stockpiling for Christmas, demented folk?

Those raking rotting leaves: of garden chores

the most thankless.  Resulting bonfire smoke

irritating neighbours, whose dank washing

is ash-specked.  Home-brew enthusiasts start

ineffectual sterilising, squashing

of elderberries….It’s then their wives depart

for evenings out, to let men watch the ooze;

they do lotteries with syndicate friends,

hoping for windfalls; drinking decent booze.

Who hears the songs of Spring?  It all depends

to what you are attuned.  If you have kids,

you’ll hear the first whine of the Christmas list,

as children’s advertising makes its bids-

o’erwhelming, so no parent can resist

its importunities.  The dismal rain

fills gutters blocked by aforementioned leaves,

which de-rail, or delay the British train,

which sceptical commuter scarce believes.

Cold, full-grown lambs may bleat from hilly bourn,

outwith the fold, or a housing bubble.

Reaped fields disappear; crops, livestock we mourn.

Winnowing is gone- designer stubble

the only razing we can recognise.

Clearly Men and Nature are out of synch.

Seasonal disorders rise.

If Keats were here, whatever would he think?

I think that is SAD, said Brassie.


Yes, the product of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Go and get a light


Very helpful.  If the Romantics had been persuaded to get a light box,

we wouldn’t have had all that marvellous poetry.

Interesting subject for a dissertation.

Well, why don’t you write it, instead of all that drivel?

Because we might not be amused. How much are light boxes, anyway?

(re-blog from 2013)