Bryan Hemming

short stories, comment, articles, humour and photography

Autumn’s rusty fingers

October SunriseAs autumn’s rusty fingers start painting their way,

Across the pale green landscape of a dying summer’s day,

My lengthening shadow, grows impatient to be free,

Looking over my shoulder, and there’s nobody,

following me,

And there’s nobody,

following me

Doesn’t quite scan as a poem, but these were the opening words of a song I began in my early 20s. Not through want of trying, I never appeared able to finish it.

Although this photo was taken at sunrise instead of sunset, the colours seem appropriate. The beautiful sunflowers that grew in the field next to where I live in Andalucia, have shrivelled and been harvested for their seeds. They may even end up in a bottle on a shelf near you.

Earlier this year I took a few shots of the field in full flower, and wrote the short story The Most Beautiful Flower, which was posted in July. Some of you may have already read it. Back then the field looked like this:

DSCN0465Copyright © 2013 Bryan Hemming


3 comments on “Autumn’s rusty fingers

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    October 5, 2013

    Damn that makes me sad, “may end up in a bottle on a shelf near you”. I’m far removed from nature, really, because I readily would go & buy a packet of sunflower seeds, but not realising they get harvested. Are they killed & the seeds are taken or do they shrivel (like you’ve said) naturally, & then are harvested?

    The half poem was very leading. Fancy not finishing it!! What happened on that day in your 20s that you didn’t finish it? Were you wracking your brain for the right words, or did you just think ‘I’ll finish it later’ and never did. I can’t imagine?? ! It did start well – enjoyed it.


    • Bryan Hemming
      October 5, 2013

      I was thinking more of sunflower oil, which Spain makes in large quantities, along with olive oil. The flowers die a natural death and are completely brown and shrivelled before the tractors move in.

      A lot of Mediterranean folk also enjoy eating the seeds. It’s quite a knack breaking the husks open with your front teeth to extract the meagre fruit. You can see where the aficianados sit by all the husks they spit out by the benches. I could never manage it. The result didn’t seem to justify the effort.

      I dunno about the song. Every time I picked up my guitar, I’d start off trying to think of the next line, then end up finishing another song.


      • WordsFallFromMyEyes
        October 5, 2013

        Thanks Bryan, I do appreciate knowing they die a natural death.

        I agree with you the effort of nuts! I remember receiving a heap of unshelled nuts into our home (we used to get hampers from charities) and a nutcracker and the novelty very soon wore off. Way too much effort (isn’t that shameful).


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This entry was posted on October 4, 2013 by in Articles and tagged , , , , , .

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