November Trees

A last burst of colour before everything fades into dullness and before the dreariness of a northern winter sets in…

hot November trees:
blazing rockets burning out—
pyrotechnics gone

Words and image © Lizzie Ballagher


Sombre November

There is a wild kind of beauty in skies and the land at this time of year. Here I celebrate the Isle of Thanet marshes – wide, yet dwarfed by the wintry sky.

sombre November:
dull rags of clouds low-flying,
heavy-lidded day

© Image and words Lizzie Ballagher

November: No Man’s Month

In the northern hemisphere, November has long been a melancholy month—even before services of remembrance or stories from No Man’s Land. That phrase has always resonated with me; that’s why I wrote this short poem.

November: No Man’s Month
Fields ploughed, but not yet sown—
Except by pearls in spider webs
Or frost on tarnished stubble (scythèd sheer to
Earth’s crude clay).

Trees void, but still no snow–
Except where snowberries grow close to birches (flashing silver),
Or ash-trees (sprinkling grey among
Dark elm trunks).

Christ promised, but not yet come—
Neither among the stubble stalks and razor wire of battlefields
Nor under cross-shaped stars
Nor to the lap of waiting Mary;
But only in the myrrh and frankincense of human lives.

© Lizzie Ballagher




TOMORROW and SUNDAY! Christmas Poems and Christmas Gifts

To all who live in South-Eastern England: bring your family and come to the wonderful annual Christmas Fayre at The Friars, Aylesford, Kent on 29th or 30th November, entry between 10a.m. and 4p.m. both days. Full of all sorts of Christmas present ideas, including framed poetry by Lizzie Ballagher and watercolours by Jackie Trinder. Not to be missed. Oh, and bring your ice skates, too!