Roddy Lumsden died in January this year, tragically young. He was a quirky poet, born and brought up in the working class part of St Andrews although he did not see himself, particularly, as a Scottish poet.

This article in the Scotsman from 2009 offers the unusual scene of a poet working on a fashion shoot with Kate Moss.

Intriguing but not particularly seasonal. However, I loved his poem, The Season of Quite with it’s genteel ladies plotting events that seem to be more gossip and the nuances of words than any actual activities. The gentility and the golfing reference makes me wonder if it is based on his native St Andrews? In any event it is worth reading for the line: Half-promised rain roosts in some clouds a mile out,” if you ask me. Rain “roosting” in clouds, just perfect!

Season of Quite

With refreshments and some modesty and home-drawn maps,
the ladies of the parish are marshaling the plans in hand,
devising the occasions, in softest pencil: the Day of Hearsay,
Leeway Week, the Maybe Pageant, a hustings on the word   
nearby. Half-promised rain roosts in some clouds a mile out,
gradual weather making gradual notes on the green, the well,
the monument, the mayor’s yard where dogs purr on elastic.

Everything taken by the smooth handle then, or about to be,
hiatus sharp in humble fashion. A small boy spins one wheel
of an upturned bike, the pond rises, full of skimmed stones
on somehow days, not Spring, not Summer yet. Engagements
are announced in the Chronicle, a nine-yard putt falls short.
Dark cattle amble on the angles of Flat Field. The ladies close
their plotting books and fill pink teacups, there or thereabouts.

Prompts: “Seasonal” offers lots of scope. You could write about this season, as Autumn turns to winter – about the contrasting seasons. Or you could go Biblical with Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Well, I am not so sure about the hate and war bit but the basic message is sound: there are times when we should speak out and times when it is much better to hold our tongues…

But this isn’t one of them!

It’s time to write.

6 thoughts on “Seasonal

  1. Oh, just to add, I think we are in “somehow days” right now. In the poem he says:
    “…on somehow days, not Spring, not Summer yet.”

    It seems to me that we are in somehow days, not Autumn, not Winter yet, just now.


    • I totally agree, Spencer and it got me to thinking about the Cure song titled ‘In Between Days’.

      In Between Days by The Cure

      Yesterday I got so old
      I felt like I could die
      Yesterday I got so old
      It made me want to cry
      Go on, go on
      Just walk away
      Go on, go on
      Your choice is made
      Go on, go on
      And disappear
      Go on, go on
      Away from here
      And I know I was wrong
      When I said it was true
      That it couldn’t be me and be her
      Inbetween without you
      Without you
      Yesterday I got so scared
      I shivered like a child
      Yesterday away from you
      It froze me deep inside
      Come back, come back
      Don’t walk away
      Come back, come back
      Come back today
      Come back, come back
      What can’t you see?
      Come back, come back
      Come back to me
      And I know I was wrong
      When I said it was true
      That it couldn’t be me and be her
      Inbetween without you
      Without you
      Without you
      Without you
      Without you
      Without you
      Without you
      Without you

      Your comment about the biblical passage also got me on to thinking about Nick Cave’s epic album Ghosteen. Check out the first track, one of those pieces of music that makes me want to laugh and cry at the simultaneously.

      I love the lyric about peace coming in time and about ti;me coming for us

      I think the whole thing is epic, I might have outgrown wearing black all the time but my inner goth is still alive and kicking! Rebecca still Mahony without the ‘e’!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “For this week’s theme of ‘Seasonal’ I thought I would track this solitary tree’s journey through the seasons since the start of Covid-lockdown began back in March of this year through a series of photos that my Dad has been sending me of a tree he can see from his lounge window. Like many people my parents have been shielding for a lot of this year so have enjoyed being able to get into their garden and observe the seasons on a micro level this year.

    As lockdown has progressed I am beginning to feel more in tune with nature and enjoy observing the slow but inevitable seasonal changes as I go for my regular plod round the local peat track near my house. For myself I love the winter but always love the seasonal transition when you can first spy little signs of spring, snowdrops and crocus, and the deciduous trees slow return to their full leaved finery. I’m not so keen on autumn as I somehow associate it as a season of dampness and decay although I love the autumn colours.

    I like to think of life in terms of seasons as I get older. Some seasons being full of growth and colour and others being seasons more reflective and retrospective and others periods of hibernation and some full of change and transformation. I think I am learning to become more patient as I get older and trust that all seasons, both the good and the bad, will inevitably come to an end and transition to the next. I like everyone else, sometimes have fleeting moments, of feeling stuck during lockdown but getting out for a walk helps shift this feeling as there is always something slightly different to focus on in the natural world even if the human world feels like it has gone into some sort of deep hibernation this year.

    I very much look forward to the season when I will be able to see my parents (and the tree!) in person again.

    Rebecca Mahoney

    Liked by 1 person


    The verses in ECCLESIASTES and in the song Turn Turn
    Provide a way of thinking about the year
    Different seasons different activities
    The winter season cold with little sun
    The summer season warm with little rain

    The meteorological year is divided into four seasons
    Spring summer autumn and winter
    We are reminded of these by Ravel’s music

    There are seasons for sowing and planting
    Seasons for harvesting the grains and
    Picking fruit and pulling up vegetables

    Among us humans there will be happy times
    Of laughter singing and dancing but
    Also times of weeping and sadness
    Times of birth but also times of death
    I have given birth and I have been present at a death

    So our lives are punctuated by seasonal activity
    Seasonal weather seasonal ….


    Liked by 1 person

    By Mairi Cable

    While working for the D.H.S.S. my father used to have to go on courses at Christmas time to Edinburgh. He had to make sure that the claimants in Niddrie, a deprived area, got all their benefits and any extra in time for the festive season. This meant the parents had enough money to buy their children presents for Christmas, so they would have enough money for all the food so they would have a memorable time.
    Another thing he did seasonally not just at Christmas was when he got his car money i.e., travel allowance for when he went out visiting in the car on calls to the country. This was before big supermarkets, so he got fresh fruit from the Italians. Fresh fruit wasn’t an everyday thing for us. We got an apple and an orange as part of our Christmas. So, the fruit from the Italians was a special treat for us, he would get an apples and oranges and maybe some bananas which was a luxury fruit. His special treat for himself, which of course he shared with all of us was a melon which he had got a taste for in the far east.

    Another fruit treat which we got from my Uncle Iain Louis in Canada at Christmas time was a crate of MacIntosh apples which we loved.

    Another seasonal treat was in the summer when we got spins to the country and beaches.


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