Autumn Leaves
Jim Macnamara

Clattering through brittle mornings
down windswept streets,
running like reluctant forward scouts
into imminent battle.
fighting battalions of wind
and regiments of speak-tipped frost;
lying like fallen comrades
in red-stained streets,
waiting the convoy of those who come
to tend the littered battleground.
Plucked from their flying formation
falling from winged squadrons,
their disgorged belly of bombs
into a napalm autumn.

This poem was published in The Canberra Times more years ago than I care to remember – in 1977.

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• Jim Macnamara presents refereed paper at the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA) 2008 conference, Wellington New Zealand