Decay caresses our senses, wildly flirting, dripping brown from wilted stems as growth stalls. The last blooms are fading, leaves are blankets falling, and countrywide we shudder as winter calls. For this is the time for death to stalk the hedgerows, his scythe hacks at the confused sparks there found, he leaves the fallen to lie, there awaiting the crows, yet beauty is met, if our gaze shifts from the ground. The reds and browns backlit by a jelly orb, or the fine morning dew making the visible clear - jewels glistening on the finest of cords as the hunter gathers the last morsels this year. And the smell, crisp with notes of winters bark, a smell to be savoured as soon to be lost, notes of dying alone in the dank and the dark, lost first to the rains and then to the frosts. Those crisp frosts that spur the child within to stamp on glass, paper thin shards strewn, to step out onto grass, on it’s glistening skin, leaving footprints as once men did on the moon. We plan the perfect Christmas that can never be, And contemplate a new life come January When from winter’s clutch we will almost be free But we fool ourselves, if by differing degrees At work winters effect on our wits I see For the hardest months are yet to be.