Last autumn, I went to a warm and inspiring poetry morning in Burgh parish schoolroom – a tiny but beautiful space on the edge of the ancient churchyard.  It was part of a series of such mornings, but I was only able to make this one.   The people there made me so welcome, and we shared tea and cake and some beautiful poetry on the theme of Autumn, which we had all experienced on our way.  As I left, one of the other people there kindly offered me a fig from her garden.  It was most precious.  I took it home and baked it with a little sherry and honey, and eating it was an act of thanksgiving – for her kindness, for the morning, the welcome, the poetry,  the beauty of the season, for life.
As it baked, I wrote this.

Thank you again.


The fig is heavy in my cupped hand,
warm, still, from the sun,
purple and green.
I walk slowly, for the skin
is thin, ready to burst open.
I feel the juice, the seeds,
move inside, sway with me
as I walk

from the room.

There was cake,
and bunting,
and people,
and we read together – Keats’
“Ode to Autumn”,
while the hawberries glowed
from one window,
while the brown stubblefield sloped
through the other.

How rich, how full
this life.
An unexpected gift,
fragile in my hand.

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