David Cattanach 

Days of Autumn

Autumn - leaves strewn form patterns 
of shape and colour.
Light winds create a murmur
Of falling colours, leaving branches bare.
Chimneys smoke again 
and the sweeps roam.

On back door step 
are boots brushed clean
once they were
Laden with clay earth.

Ancient fires lance the villages,
Potatoes removed flake their skins
in the hardened hands of Blacksmiths,
Carpenters and Journeymen.

An odour of camphor 
rises from the overcoats of priests
who make their rounds
under the glare of returning full moon.

Cordite fizzles in a crackered air 
kids tremble at the fire's edge
small hands grip the skirts of mothers
sparks of energy fly into the night sky.

Over barbed fence in silent flight
the barn owl ghost white goes,
twisting its head to look 
at the opening of a door.

On gathering cool nights 
frosted breath 
marks a music score in the dark,
deep In the woods foxes howl.

Comforted by murmurs and stories
the people retreat 
to wait the light 
after living through many nights.
The dull sounds of drums 
Breaks through the blinding fog.

The Last Bullets

The last bullets are for you 
Plugging into the flesh
Running away 
That's how the news reported

Mown down by the fire
The hot barrels smoking 
Feathers of passing birds 
Floated down 

Doors opened, shutters untied
Flags were raised 
Dogs ran from the houses
Children brought out kites

They had passed through
Armies of the desert 
Leaving scent trails of gasoline
Plumes from the burning rose

Were they gone forever
The heavy boots of soldiers?
We walked with soft shoes 
Ploughing our fields, agriculture returned

Soon we had cleared the mines 
Setting down feasting blankets 
Swimming in the warm waters 
Of rivers that seeped into the horizon

The dust clouds of their heavy machines 
Had settled long ago and now swallows came 
With swift flight 
Over the golden ears of corn 

We thought that our windows 
Should be opened 
To the morning call 
Of larks 

That we could melt the last bullets
And form them into weather vanes 
They would spin attracting light 
From every rooftop

Flights, Issue Seven, December 2022