Autumn fuels our imagination
What started as a nice April morning, quickly turned into a cold wet and windy 2034 autumn day! Jimmy was over two hours late. An anxious Herb Rabbine put down the phone, his face was pale with concern. Rosemary, (his wife) could tell something was wrong, she began rambling in anticipation of bad news.
“Its Jimmy isn’t it?. . . Is he hurt?. . . Or, or sick? . . . Where has he gone? . . .Was there an accident?”
“No, No. . . Just calm down, I’m sure he’s fine. I asked Olivia and she said Jimmy left this morning on his bike, like he does every Saturday. She thinks he may have taken shelter from the thunderstorms, further up the creek, near Fraser scrub. Jimmy probably just lost track of time, so I told Olivia I would find him and call her back soon.”
Not convinced and beginning to panic, Nanna Petal (Rosemary) quickly reached for the phone.
“I’m going to call the Police or State emergency service and organise a search party. He could be lying injured or swept away down Fraser creek. We must do something!”
Just then, a loud piercing noise, like a set of bagpipes frightened them both. It was Herb’s custom-made doorbell.
“Jimmy!” Rosemary nervously shouted out,
Herb shuffled quickly towards the front door,
“That could only be one person in this atrocious weather. I told you everything would be ok!”
Still, Nanna Petal imagined the worst, as Herb reached for the handle.
“Maybe it’s the Police officer, with bad news?” . . . She took a deep breath as Herb opened the door. A chill blew into the house as they tried to recognize the crouching figure in their doorway.
“Jimmy, is that you?”
Saturated, shivering and with water dripping off his hair, Jimmy looked up and sheepishly replied.
“Err, yes, but only just Grandpa.”
“Well you finally made it boy! You had your Nanna and Mother very worried.”
A relieved Nanna Petal ran up to Jimmy and gave him the biggest hug ever.
“Thank God you’re alive!”
“Nanna I can’t breathe, you, you’re choking me!”
“Sorry, I was so worried about you Jimmy; we thought you may have been swept away with the rising creek waters.”
“Sorry nanna, I got caught in the thunderstorms, so I took shelter in Fraser scrub. It was like an autumn wonderland with nature transforming before my eyes. It’s was so amazing.”
“Typical boys! . . . You’re just like your Grandpa, when he was a boy; always exploring in remote scrubland and usually getting into trouble.”
Herb shrugged his shoulders at Jimmy, and then directed him to the front of the open fireplace, where a pile of red-gum logs burned furiously.
“Stand here until you dry out, while I call your Mother; she will still be worried sick about you.”
“Thanks Grandpa. I didn’t mean any harm I just lost track of time. A thundery wet Autumn day in the scrub is one of my favourite times. Autumn is Nature’s cross road, where life appears to end, just as it reignites into a new beginning.”
As Herb began ringing his Daughter, he curiously looked at Jimmy, thinking about his philosophic phrase. . . Herb tried to imagine what Jimmy had just experienced, and felt rather envious.
“We found him! . . . Yes! . . . He was in the Fraser scrub. . . The little water Rat finally turned up on our doorstep. . . No, no, he’s fine. We’ll have him dry in no time! . . . Yes, ok then, we’ll give him a feed of hot apple pie first, and send him home this arvo once the rain clears. That’s fine. . . I love you too. . . Buy.”
Nanna Petal smiled, then began walking towards the kitchen,
“While you two adventurers discuss nature and get Jimmy dry on the outside, I’ll cook some hot apple pie, to warm his insides.”
Herb was still curious about Jimmy’s adventure, as he dragged a table and chair closer to the fire and then sat down next to him.
“Please describe where you’ve been Jimmy and try to explain what you have seen?” a cheeky smile erupted from Jimmy’s face,
“I have been with autumn to live out my dream. Sure it’s not quite London to see the Queen; but I felt like a Prince in a land of strawberries and cream.” Herb laughed aloud.
“Ha, Ha, very funny my little dripping poetic prince? How about I take some journal notes, as you recall your day? Let’s start with each specific moment of discovery, just as if, you were still there.”
“Ok . . . Well it started out as any normal Saturday morning. A warm partly cloudy day, until darker clouds quickly engulfed the sun’s glare; soon I realised a storm was approaching fast. I ran to take cover under the old red gum on the edge of the creek in the Fraser scrub. I was scared at first, especially when I heard the thunder and even more frightened when I watched bolts of lightning illuminate the sky.”
Herb began writing . . . ‘As clouds engulf the midday glare.’ Jimmy continued,
“I noticed on the grass, an ant became trapped inside a raindrop, but too late for me to avoid treading on it. I stopped to look at my boot just as an eerie Chill drifted through the Gum trees. Many coloured leaves began to fall; I tried catching some just before they landed. Suddenly, my attention was drawn away towards beautiful Rosellas, pecking on new season’s buds, before being frightened away by the heavy drops from the thundershower.
Herb muttered to himself and continued writing. . .
‘Rosellas gorge on new seasons buds’
Minutes later, Jimmy finished telling his story.
“Well done Jimmy! I have captured your vision of every moment within this poem, and now I want you to complete each line with a rhyming reflection alongside it. Focus on making your every other line, rhyme and then you will discover our collective poem can be read in several different dimensions. Firstly, as a collective line or you can read either column of prose or poetry separately.
“Sounds complicated, but I will give it a go Grandpa.”
Twenty minutes later Jimmy finished his last line,
“in an autumn wonderland of pleasure. . . Done!” Herb began reading,
Autumn’s wonderland of pleasure
In the moment (upon reflection by Jimmy)
As clouds, engulf the midday glare
…. I run for cover to an old red gum
An ant fights to escape a raindrop
…. too late for my boot to avoid its end
Red leaves airborne for a final journey
…. reach out my hand in the fading sun
Rosellas gorge on new season’s buds
…. bird scraps to the ground they send
Warmth reduced by a sudden shower
…. a flock of colour, flee drops in fright
The cold chill cuts right to the bone
…. Sheltered thoughts I cannot believe
Dust dissipates, replaced by cool mist
…. inhale moist air, as lungs fill so tight
Heat haze seems a distant memory
…. my summer loving left behind this eve
Mud stealth-like, drowning pebbles
…. clap of thunder follows bolts of light
Rainbow ignites within a misty shower
…. illumination forms the grand display
Magpie draws its evening worm
…. tummy rumbles for noodles tonight
As a dry creek and a trickle reform
…. Adrenalin runs in these veins today
Sodden leaves begin decomposing
…. thoughts of gardening, my great escape
Soaking bark consumes my mind
…. bold sensations or a hidden treasure
Autumn leaves; a full gallery of colour
…. imagination paints a great landscape
A season boasting nature’s child
…. in an autumn wonderland of pleasure.
Herb nodded with approval, as a slightly dryer Jimmy, began reading the poems together & separately.
“You’re right Grandpa, there are three different ways to read our poem and I didn’t even realise that we could write a poem together. . . That is, if it really is a poem? Is it Grandpa?. . .What exactly is poetry anyway?” Herb smiled at Nanna before answering Jimmy. . . . .
Poetry is a building site for our imagination
Designers collect concepts from deep inside the creator’s mind,
before an architect drafts a poem, to be appealing on every line.
Emerging from my building site, poetic structure for all to see,
pre-approvals for construction, to maintain structural integrity.
Skilfully, the bricklayer builds each story to reveal such power,
placing every word carefully, upon the wall of a literary tower.
Bonding brick-like words together, with mortar-like punctuation,
carpenters shave roughened verse, to avoid over complication.
Tirelessly sculpting adjectives and verbs into a modern form,
suddenly the shape takes place and a poetic structure is born.
Distinctive colour & soft texture, a labour of love, or just a game;
painter adds a finishing touch, in preparation for its final frame.
Jimmy looked at Herb with a confused, blank expression, before Nanna Petal took his hand,
“Don’t listen to the old Tradie Jimmy; he loves reciting that poem and making poetry more confusing than it needs to be. . .
. . . Real poetry comes from your heart; it is a way of expressing what your spirit feels.”
“Not sure if my Spirit is interested in poetry just now, Nanna!”
“One day Jimmy it will be, and you will know when your spirit of expression is set free.” Nanna Petal began reciting a poem;
A poem is a spirit set free
“Poetry is multi-faceted; styles multiply as rules diminish. A poem is the alter ego of a tedious sentence. It need not rhyme, nor flow, just as it may waver, captivate or question. A poem is a free spirit, which runs wild in the wind of self-expression. Its adrenaline fuels the pace from a shuffle to a glide or tearful collision. Each poem has a journey of self-discovery, each with a story to tell. The surface may seem nonsensical, but who dares question the author’s intent, as self-expression may simply be ones emotional relief vent.”
“Wow Nanna and Grandpa, I never realised poetry was so complicated. I think I’ll stick to exploring and riding and leave this poetry stuff to you or that Harvey Stewart guy from your book.”
“That’s just fine Jimmy. It is time for me to go and before you do, remind Grandpa to read you another chapter from that book. Then you need to get a wriggle on home!
“Thanks for the hot apple pie Nanna, and thanks heaps Grandpa, for helping me write my very first ever poem.”
“It’s our pleasure Jimmy”, as Herb smiled at his wife.
“That young lad is growing up way too quickly. He even reminds me of myself at his age.”
“Heaven help his Mother then, although it wouldn’t surprise me if there are many more adventures ahead for our inquisitive Jimmy.”
Herb sat down next to Jimmy, opened the book and began reading.
Continued: Find chapter 7