Walking with our borrowed dog, Wilbur, in the tree-lined gardens of The Royal Crescent, it's no longer possible to ignore the fact that autumn has arrived.
The paths are littered with fallen leaves and an abundance of horse-chestnuts.
My days of playing conkers are long past but I still delight in their glorious texture and colour.
Due to the recent storms the leaf-fall has been less gradual than normal at this time of year.
A limitless ocean of auburn and gold spreads out before us as we walk and seems to whisper as we paddle our way through it.
Wilbur, pictured here, is one of more than a dozen pets we've taken care of this year. A gentle, obedient fellow with a charismatic personality, he's one of our favourites.
Two sets of boots displace dead leaves,
two pairs of eyes inspect bare trees,
two hands, ungloved, create a bridge:
across it warm affection flows
and, once again, I recognise
that this is love, a love that grows,
unchecked, though autumn lays its hand
on everything, on light, on bough;
that this, in its simplicity.
is everything that I desire.
All love before was counterfeit.
Life, till you came, was incomplete.