Autumn Garden


The sun isn’t rising until after 6.30 so there’s a definite autumnal feel to the air in the mornings and the first leaves are changing colour which prompted this choice for Friday’s poem.

Autumn Garden  by Ruth Dallas comes from her Collected Poems,  published by University of Otago Press.

Autumn Garden


The trees she loved are loosening their leaves,

But not for sorrow will they let them fall;

Younger leaves are stirring in the bough,


Now, when the world should pause, the bees behave

As if these were the earliest flowers, beans

Swell and wing on the trellis, apples ripen.


Nothing in the garden looks for her,

The summer flowers are scattering their seed,

The heavy apples dream of other trees.


            – Ruth Dallas –

New Year


Most of the literature I was brought up on was from the northern hemisphere so poetry which celebrated seasons never fitted my experience. Because of that I still get a thrill from the sense of connection with poems which come from a southern hemisphere perspective as this Friday’s choice does.

 It’s New Year by Ruth Dallas from Collected Poems, published by University of Otago Press, 2000.

New Year


The brimming year spills over in midsummer heat;

A deft wind combs the willow-branches

And coaxes small-talk from the poplar grove.

Tat dissolves in the deserted street.


My neighbours are gone to the sea or inland,

But I like this time of the year at home,

In the space left by motorbikes and a silenced guitar.

I watch a blackbird grow tipsy on gooseberries.


Doors and windows stay open. Three or four

Sheepswool clouds lie distant from the sun.

In the evening I carry water to the beans.

The sky darkens and the clouds grow a halo.


The moon looks up from the poplars

Like the bright eye of the pert blackbird,

Then expands into a luminous marrow-flower

This postcard is a view from earth.


                      – Ruth Dallas –

A Blue Flower


We woke to a light touch of white on the lawns and paddocks this morning and over in Central Otago up to 500 helicoptors may be called on tonight to help orchardists and viticulturists protect young fruit from the forecast frost.

That unseasonal weather prompted the choice of this Friday’s poem – A Blue Flower by Ruth Dallas from her Collected Poems, published by University of Otago Press.

           A Blue Flower


In the early morning we noticed

Jack Frost had whitewashed the golf-course.


We know who is always out there,

Waiting on the dark side of planets,

The mossed side of trees,

And the green side of apples-

Does he think we were born yesterday?


We lay low, like Brer Rabbit

When Mr Fox is around, laughing, because

We could see, over his white fields,

The flank of a hill, like a lion’s haunch,

Lit be his enemy, the sun.


                                         Another day,

This day, snatched from the hoard of the old miser,

To unfold and stretch itself like a blue flower.


Let us think no more of tomorrow,

Or what is gone, but live to outwit J. Fox,

Plucking each day singly, like ripe fruit.


                 – Ruth Dallas –



Our British and European cultural heritage means a lot of the literature we read has the seasons back to front.


But this Friday’s poem is about a southern hemisphere spring  and I found an strong connection to it because of that. 


September is from Ruth Dallas’s Collected Poems, published by University of Otago Press.




Under thin

Boughs in


Paler than


  Soft as

  The grass,


The Daffodils,

Eager as love,

     As ice-




– Ruth Dalls –

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