An Autumn Day at Rogie Falls, a poem by Terry Astley

Discover An Autumn Day by North East poet and naturalist, Terry Astley, a poem that transports us to Rogie Falls in Scotland with the sights and sounds of Autumn.

Here in Black Water’s green clad glen,
Grey mottled boulders lie
In rough, chaotic jumble, strewn
Against the river’s banks
That fringe the steep hillsides,
Where forests thrive
In sheltered air,
And stretch tall trunks
Towards the light.
In open glades the purple heather hangs its bells
Beside black fruited bilberry.
As bee and bug and butterfly
Flit back and forth,
Between the autumn blooms
Of Black Knapweed and Scabious blue,
O’er the moss on craggy rocks
And by the boggy sites of rush and sedge.
How small these insects are.
How small I am down here,
Beside Black Water’s constant push.
Its thundering plunge, its endless come and go,
Through cataract and cleft,
To crash in gleaming, foaming gold
Below the high rock steps of Rogie Falls.
Where bubbles form and drift,
And form and drift, and drift away
Along the sleek dark pool downstream
Then disappear from sight.
As transient as human life
When set against the scale of time.
The aeons of the forming of
The grandeur of the mountains, rocks
And rivers of this land.
What am I in all of this,
The mighty works of Nature’s hand?
I am but one brief spark of light that glows
Then quickly fades and is no more.

Terry Astley, 2018

About the author

Terry lives in North Fenham with his wife Brenda. He is interested in all aspects of natural history, but his main interest is geology. He is getting more interested in botany as he regularly attends the Midweek Botany Group outings.

Terry started writing poetry after he had retired, when on holiday in Skye, and the wonderful scenery inspired him to put pen to paper. He has continued to write poems about the natural world ever since and often reads one to the botany group when they are having lunch during their outings. He was very pleased earlier this year, when one of his poems was included in the recently published book: A Journey in Landscape Restoration Carrifran and Beyond.