Headlines from The Economist

Nan Williamson

There was a time when you wrote

that autumn dazzled    struck our maple trees

and they were rich    deep red and golden leaves 

You said that early sunsets left them burning 

hectic just before the night


This year    headlines speak of Nightmares    

The House of Smoke and Mirrors     Dark Rentals 

of the Soul    Foul Play    Conduct Unbecoming    

Bosses Behaving Badly      a Machiavelli Multi-

Masked who can Smile and Smile and Be a Villain


Outside    there are sirens    someone’s been shot


Now    you write    that trees are sick   

pathetic fallacy   leaves wrinkled    crispy 

brown    shrivelled on the branch    Falling

into dusty piles when weak and withered    

they break from dried-out stems    


Listen    you must still speak of the shadowy 

woman who hums silky blue tunes by the night

window    of violets dappling the lawn    of lovers 

who somehow survive     and once again    without irony  

offer to the betrayed world    one persistent 

green shoot that springs from a spent maple tree

Nan Williamson is a teacher, artist and author living in Peterborough. She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers, Toronto, 2013. Her chapbook, leave the door open for the moon, was published by Jackson Creek Press in 2015. Nan is inspired by beauty – natural, or created in art, music, poetry, and secondly, by her love of language and the craft of writing.

Her poems have been published in many juried literary journals and anthologies in Canada and the UK. She is the illustrator for Delicate Impact, a Canadian anthology of poetry, A Beret Days Book, The Ontario Poetry Society, 2018. Besides poetry and art, she loves red wine, chocolate, her 1870 home, and Rod’s veal stew with black olives.