Black Mountain River time again

The last few weeks it’s been a rumour, a half-caught glimpse. An is-it-isn’t-it-? hovering on the edge of my awareness. This morning I caught full sight of it, breathed it full in and had to agree with the words it spoke – ‘Autumn’s coming…’ Plain as the chicken in the fox’s mouth on our steps as we drank our tea.

There’s no doubt about it. The change is coming again and I for one, though still yearning for a month or two of river-swimming, easy-living bliss, am ready. Summer’s been busy. Autumn’ll be busy too, but in a quieter way. Summer burns and Autumn smoulders and soon enough the misty mornings will be feeding my soul with their richness. The call to descend into the world of ancestors and dreaming will become stronger; the necessary healings will announce themselves in the quiet hours of the night and the darkening morning walks. Black mountain river will call me home.

This time last year, I wrote a poem about that first tug towards Autumn. Here it is again – you can also find it here. I hope your seasonal changings are sweet and mellow and full of life’s love. And remembering.

Black Mountain River

Autumn begins.
It doesn’t take much;
One tug at my feet by
Autumn’s grey strangers
And I’m away
Or rather, perhaps,

As if a stream
Has appeared in front of me
Towards that great
Black Mountain
Of Winter,
Autumn sings me home.

There I am.
In the womb of Black Mountain,
I’m waiting
As patient as a
Heron or the
Hawthorn on the moor.

Spring’s grey sister
Has come for me.
What began with a crocus
Ends with the broken bough,
The leaning-in towards
The quiet soul-song
Of the mist on the
Black mountainside.

I step into the water,
Leaving Summer’s gold and laughter,
Like a man baptised
Into a luminous darkness.

The silver mist closes behind me;
The grey strangers accompany me;
The moon puts pennies on my eyes.

The tragedy of life is not its sadness,
But forgetting the way back home
Along Black Mountain River.


7 thoughts on “Black Mountain River time again

    1. Sometimes my animal-body fears it, when there’s the memory of long darkness and the loss of the sun’s warmth, but I relish the turning-inwards of it. Where I live now, Winter is a weakened thing – in Scotland it was a different creature altogether.

  1. Your poem is beautifull,it makes me see images that i so long for.I too dread seeing green leaves fall and coldness and darkness take over for months to come,i didn’t get enough of warm wind on my skin just yet,especially not in Scotland…

    1. Ah, but that’s the thing – whilst there’s the dread of it, there’s also the knowledge that taking that journey home to the root of the mountain in winter is essential for the soul’s health. But the journey’s easier if summer’s been sweet – Scotland doesn’t always make that easy! Thanks for your words, Karolina.

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