01 November 2018


I had a serious burns accident in November and that is why this piece of writing gets aired every year. I wrote it specially to say 'be careful'

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. Valerie, each year I read this, I find something different that I didn't read before. Such a powerful piece, my friend, both the prose AND the poem.

    I know that November must hold conflicting feelings and emotions. And I'm sure the memories of that day are still vivid in your memories.

    Fire is such a dichotomy isn't it? On one hand it's very useful and necessary, yet it can also be dangerous and destructive. Much like water.

    Peace, my friend.

    1. Ron, thank you for this. I didn't expect you to comment yet again but I am very pleased you did. I guess the month of November will always promote my varying feelings, some joyful and some what I call tragic. Blogging this has its own way of making me feel better.

      Here's hoping your weekend is a good one and thanks again for your ongoing support.

  2. I feel like the year has gone by so fast! I can't believe it is only 7 weeks till Christmas. Crazy!

    1. Thank you for your comment, I can't believe how fast time flies. I tried to thank you by a visit to your 'site' but couldn't fathom out how to do it.

  3. I agree with you so much that November is the month of prose. Great post and may we never forget the sacrifice of all those who fought for freedom.

    1. Thank you, Dave. So much seemed to happen in November and that is why I put pen to paper. As I write this I hear fireworks and wonder how many will be hurt this year.

  4. Thank you for the reminder, Val. We have a lot going on this November. Hopefully nothing but positives. Take care.

    1. Enjoy, Matt, but be aware. Seriously, I hope you have a great time.

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  6. November look scary for many Americans this November. In two day we shall be on the cusp of redemption of further disaster.....

  7. Very wise comments Valerie and the poem was beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Denise. In hospital I saw the bonfire/fireworks casualties, some young children now scarred for life. Even though it was 72 years ago I can't forget the cries, hence the poem.

  8. Valerie, this was another "first" read for me and I also thank you for the cautions and remembrances. I'm sure your memories today are just as vivid as so many years ago. Thanks for sharing.


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