November

Image: Adapted from Canva Pro

“I know that I have died before—once in November.”

Anne Sexton

November has crept in through a back door. It is a strange month. One half clings on to the fading remnants of autumn. The other half marches, relentless, closing curtains, dragging us into the grips of winter. Anglo -Saxons referred to November as Blotmonath, meaning blood month; a time where they would traditionally slaughter cattle to provide food for winter.

I’ve been feeling a bit Novemberish this week, not knowing whether I was coming or going. I had a hundred ideas for Friday Thoughts, they have all been sacrificed to the wastepaper bin. Myrtle, the tortoise, has gone into hibernation, and there is an air of wanting to bed down and join her.

Not all is lost. Today is National Origami Day and some hope for the mounds of discarded paper staring at me from the bin. Even more exciting, only 45 more sleeps until Christmas Day. I’m starting to feel better already. While I ponder my Christmas shopping list, here is one of my poems about November, from my debut collection, All Mine. You can hear an audio version below the poem.

Erasure

November graced us with an early gift.
Fourteen degrees of midday sun
Set on a north westerly breeze,
A reminder Winter was close by.

Tidal waters receded over Itchenor Reach
Towards Longmore Point as pockets
Of Brent Geese relaxed in sandy puddles,
Refreshed from their recent migration.

Saltern Copse offered exposed oak roots
For climbing and clambering, Tom chose
To go upwards; whilst an ageing trio exchanged
Hands, supporting fragile, less mobile limbs.

Amongst an aura of erosion, a young couple,
Their love den scattered with fairy-lights 
Along knots and gnarls and glasses
Of Pinot Grigio, celebrated new beginnings,

Hands locked as though an incoming
Wave could sweep them away forever. 
We exchanged glances knowing, 
Between tides, more roots would be revealed. 

Has anyone got any good tips on getting through November? I would love to hear them. Have a good weekend.

11 thoughts on “November

  1. What a beautiful poem, Davy D! I’m feeling Novemberish, too. It’s been unusually warm here as I write about in Sunday’s post. I love this season when the sun encourages me to go to bed and rise earlier. I say we follow Myrtle’s advice and do a little hibernating ourselves. 🙂 Alicia

    1. I’m all for hibernation, Alicia, and glad you enjoyed the poetry. The weather is the same over here in the UK. Temperatures are way above average for the time of year. We have had plants in the garden flower two months beyond what they would normally do. Have a good weekend.

  2. In the US, the year-end holidays start in November with Thanksgiving. Historically, the second we turn out the porch-light on Halloween, my daughter fires up christmas music. To get through the month, which I find a bit depressing because of the rapidly dwindling daylight, I force myself into out door activity. This past week, I delayed running until well after dark and did my miles with a flashlight. It’s pretty fun (although you need a safe place). .

    1. I’ve been finding the same, Jeff, with my early morning runs. I’m having to make them later as the dark has swallowed the time when I would usually run. Perhaps it is the sudden change of patterns which cause us to be unsettled. I do prefer the darker mornings and evenings for writing. They seem quieter and more focused. Thanks for your thoughts and have a good weekend.

  3. I treat November like any other month, Davy. Why treat it differently? I don’t mind the darker evenings, and enjoy the lighter mornings after the clocks have gone back. I guess it’s because I’m an early bird, rather than a night owl. And November always bring much to look forward to – Stir-up Sunday, Advent, and the magic that begins when opening the first window on my chocolate advent calendar gets nearer. You can probably tell I’m a big fan of Christmas.

    1. A good point, Hugh and there are positives to be found in November. I’m an early bird like yourself and enjoy the closeness of writing in lamplight. I had forgotten about Stir-up-Sunday, so thank you for rejigging that memory. I think it was something my grandparents celebrated but has been lost with time. We might resurrect it this year. Have a good weekend.

  4. Hibernation seems like a good idea. I love your poetic tribute to November. Transitioning to colder weather is always difficult. It’s like everything’s becoming sluggish. Maybe the countdown to Christmas will keep your spirits high. Some whiskey could do that too. Haha. Take care, Davy. 🙂

    1. That sounds like a great suggestion, Terveen. The colder weather is not coming to us here in the UK at the moment. Today the temperatures reached 18 degrees centigrade, which is way above the average temperature for this time of year. Still, whiskey can help in warmer climes (or so I’ve heard, Terveen . 😂) I’m glad you enjoyed the poem. Have a good weekend.

  5. Buy a Happy Light and it by it while eating breakfast. Light candles in the early evening. Hang twinkle lights for the rooms. Go to sleep early and get as much natural light as possible. Walk in the woods.

    1. Thank you, Evelyn. That is good advice. I try to embrace the natural light. Most of my early morning runs are now in the dark, so perhaps need to change the timings. Thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts.

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