01 November 2015


(picture courtesy of

November was the month, many years ago, when I was seriously burnt, and had the misfortune to be in hospital when victims of bonfire and firework ‘accidents’ were admitted. I felt obliged to write the following prose and poem, at the same time incorporating other monstrous November scenes.

The Prose

November is perhaps the most moving month of the year, steeped in tradition and teeming with expectancy.  Why yearn for sunnier climes or a terracotta tan when November's seasonal pulchritude comes free of charge. Broad avenues, awash with colour and piled high with copper jewels: red-gold gems, cascading from majestic trees, making way for fresh creations of embryonic buds.

Natural beauty contrasts sharply with more morbid attractions. Searing bonfires concoct a vivid tableau. Orange flames triumphantly lick the feet of man-made guys, egged on by a jubilant audience gobbling sausages and baked potatoes. Historical, traditional, and macabre, as are the fireworks: pretty explosives noisily winging, gloriously beguiling.

Scarlet poppies adorning our attire signify remembrance for the soldiers who fought for liberation … the war dead, who gave us optimism. Yields of mistletoe and holly and sometimes early snow prompt thoughts of Christmas celebrations, of nativity, and gatherings of families and friends.
Thus, November is a month of diverse elements: breathtaking, poignant, and sad. But it is never dull and those who claim that it is should examine its true potential, and wrest a soupçon of comfort from the depths of the sombre monotony that exists solely within their hearts.

This is November.    Enjoy.
The Poem
Broad avenues awash with colour,
Red gold gems tumbling to the ground;
Evolution preparing fresh creation,
Embryonic buds already sound.

Beyond the mists stem glowing vistas.
Nature sighs in resignation,
No challenger for graphic scenes
Of morbid fascination.

Poppies, red and unembellished,
Symbols of commemoration
To men in bloody trenches; soldiers
Sacrificing lives to give us liberation.

Carousals of darting, searing fire,
Triumphant flames of orange hue,
Incited by beholders’ hearty cheers
To kiss the feet of guys, and maybe you.

Motley fireworks, spectacular and loud,
Spiralling in the darkening night,
Gripping young ones, riveting them to pain.
Inevitably their shocking plight.

Advance through crumbly autumn leaves
Amidst displays of deciduous attraction,
But heed the groans as flames descend
And human euphoria condones the action.


  1. Oh Val, I am so sorry to hear about you being burnt, how awful. But your writing here is excellent. Touching, poignant, evocative lines throughout. I'm going for a re-read. First rate.

  2. Ooooh thanks, Geraldine. The burns were a long time ago but I still want to preach at people who are careless with fire.

  3. You write so beautiful, even with unpleasant topics. Fall is indeed full of transitions.

  4. Thank you, kden. It is true, isn't it, that fall brings about memories. I find it a very emotional month.

  5. Hello there Valerie!

    I am slowly making my way back to blogging, so I wanted to stop by to say Hi and catch with your latest post. Both these pieces are brilliantly written. I can't even imagine what you went through back then with being burned. Isn't it something how fire can be both beneficial yet, also dangerous?

    Have a super week, dear lady!

    X to you and Joe

  6. What a horrific event in your life Valerie. I am so sorry you had to go through that. Wonderful writings here, beautiful poem and words.

  7. Your poem was a wonderful response to the trauma, Valerie. Very thought provoking.

  8. Good morning, Ron, and welcome. Thrilled to see you back in Blogland. Yes, it is amazing that something so attractive and warm is so dangerous. As you know, my aim every November is to warn people against that danger.

  9. Thanks, Denise. Glad you enjoyed my yearly offering.

  10. Jennie, I am pleased you thought it was thought-provoking. That was my intent.

  11. Never cared too much for fireworks… they can be so pretty, but are too loud and potentially very dangerous.
    So sorry for your injury, sure glad you recovered!!
    Terrific read, thanks!

  12. Mary, I must admit I've never been one for fireworks. They really are 'playing with fire' and should be abolished.

  13. You hit fall on the head with a perfect description. Sometimes here in the States we call it "Indian Summer." What ever it's call fall has some wonderful virtues along with a sense of apprehension .... here in northern Minnesota. :)

  14. And it is also my birthday month, which is the reason I love it so much. :-)

    On a more serious note (well, it IS my birthday in eleven days, though), I love November because it's got tattooed autumn across its pretty forehead.

    Loved your two pieces. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  15. Beautiful.
    Thanks once again for sharing, Val.
    Such a talented and wonderful person.
    I'm a big fan of November because my little darling was born this month, and I can't imagine life without my November baby.


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