November Burning

Leaf-flame disappears from trees,
doused into a sodden mass
beneath my boot-clad feet,
kicked until the limp leaves lift
and fall – again.

Drizzle develops into steady rain,
but neighbours are intent on raking
and burning. Pungent billows
permeate lank laundry
on the washing line.

Boots off, safe and dry indoors,
the first fire of the season roars,
releasing smoky memories
of the November morn
when she was born.

Kim M. Russell, 3rd November 2020

My response to dVerse Poets Pub Poetics: Stoddard, Longfellow and Bryant say hello! (What does November mean to you?)

This Tuesday, Sanaa is back to stir our muses with some November inspiration from Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, Samuel Longfellow and William Cullen Bryant. She has also included some November dates of historical significance, including 5th November, which is remembered over here as Guy Fawkes Day, when some people celebrate with fireworks. For me, November smells of log fires and bonfires – a smoky month. And my daughter was born in November.

For today’s Poetics, Sanaa would like us to write poems about November and what it means to us.

51 thoughts on “November Burning

  1. “Leaf-flame disappears from trees,
    doused into a sodden mass
    beneath my boot-clad feet,
    kicked until the limp leaves lift
    and fall – again.”

    The death of fall right here. Very beautifully penned and vivid! I can really feel the imagery.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is incredibly poignant, Kim 💝 I love the bouts of nostalgia in this poem 🙂 and the image “Drizzle develops into steady rain.” November has a distinct and unforgettable flavor!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Francis. I love everything about autumn. As a child I enjoyed nights drawing in early because I loved to see house lights come on and look through windows at people having their tea.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice! I see you are a Joni fan too! I adore her music and play it all the time. If I had to pick a favourite album right now it would be ‘For The Roses’ but I love all of them


    1. Thanks so much, Ron. here’s an ice-breaker joke I used to tell new Year 7 pupils when I was a teacher. What do you call a woman with leaves on her head? Mrs Russell!


  3. A special month this November to you and your daughter Kim. I love the smell of the leaves raking and burning in the steady rain. We only rake our leaves here, and there is a contractor who comes around to pick them up. Have a good week.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Grace. We don’t even rake teh leaves, so it’s other people’s smoke I sniff. Sometimes it’s not leaves; teh lady over the back has horses and she burns their dirty straw, so I have to be careful when I hang out washing!


  4. You bring back childhood memories, especially when we could burn leaves. The large piles of oak leaves to hide in and run through. The smell of the smoke as they burned, mesmerized by the flames and warmed by them. My younger son was born in November.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s lovely that you have your daughter’s birthday to celebrate this month, as I have my son’s. I think your use of alliteration works really well here to convey the dampness of the season. I also love that first fire of autumn, though I have to do without this year! Central heating works to keep out the cold but it just isn’t the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I love your description of the leaves and the smoky smell of the burning… I always loved that smell.

    P.S. I have been getting very loud beeping sounds and a demanding ad from McAffee security trying to get me to buy their service. It just all of a sudden pops up on your site. I has done that two or three times. Don’t know what can be don about it??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dwight. I don’t know what’s going on with WordPress at the moment. I found your comment in the trash! I’ve not noticed any beeping or ads from McAfee. Sadly, unless we pay higher fees, we will continue to be bothered by unwanted ads and other stuff. Sometimes, I can’t like or comment on other people’s posts, and I know of a number of others who have had problems liking or commenting on mine. The more changes WordPress makes, the worse it seems to get – but they haven’t managed to get rid of all the unwanted spam. I’m so fed up with porn and people trying to sell me Viagra! Have you been bomnarded with ‘Muchas gracias’ spam at all?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This was the only spam I saw that came up on your site. Don’t know what is going on. On a lot of sites that come form google are noted at the top as Not Secure. This includes d’Verse!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh drat, now your laundry will smell of smoke! You depict a rather dreary November day. Here, we are having a streak of luck with bright sunshine and temps in the 60’s. It would be a good day for laundry!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s so cold here we had first on the ground and ice on the windshields this morning, Bev. Luckily, there was no smoke today and my washing smells fresh!


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