The Four Last Songs. Music and Chaos.

A cadenza shrill and sharp

Pizzicato from the harp

Andante and legato

Swan song from the cello.


Clefs, chords and counterpoint

From fiery exposition to development

Magnificent muti-tonal orchestration

Tumultuous recapitulation.


Finally four last songs

Lamenting loss,  lyrical and forlorn

Musical maverick Strauss is gone

The garden mourns.


© Alison Jean Hankinson

This is for Real Toads, where the theme is Chaos. Bjorn talked of physics and mathematics, and it brought me round to music. Music is very mathematical and can be very precise and beauty and precision is borne from weaving together many delicate strands. It reminded me of two great twentieth-century composers who pushed music to its chaotic and mathematical limits. Alban Berg and Richard Strauss. Alban Berg’s Violin concerto is a masterpiece of mathematical precision, but  I opted for Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs. The final line is from these and is the first line of September, written by Hermann Hesse.

These are my late September images…







Last day of September.

Raucous russet leaves

Brambles burgeoning with berries

Onset of October.


© Alison Jean Hankinson

Sunrise earlier this week and trees and berries today, perhaps a little hopeful on “burgeoning” These are my small things. They make my world spin. I am linking this to real toads midweek challenge.


Changing Seasons…

Winsome wind

Lifting leaves

From autumn trees.


Gusty squalls

Across the reach

Hearty waves crash on a windswept beach.


Stormy days unease

September’s short reprise

Before relentless chill of winter.


©Alison Jean Hankinson

As summer gives way to Autumn and we near the Fall equinox this seems to be the right poem for d’Verse open link night. Soon be out in those wellies crunching the fallen leaves…





September Sundown at Dallam Park

It was a beautiful Saturday up on the Solway Firth with my dad, there was a slight hint of “autumn” in the early morning and early evening, but a lovely sense of sun and summer still in the air. I drove up to spend the day with dad and we played around with telescopes and binoculars on the estuary, watching herons and swans and other local bird life.

Driving home, still keen to squeeze the last moments out of a beautiful late summer day I came off the motorway a couple of junctions early at Crooklands so I could drive down the A6 to see if the deer were close to the river at Dallam Park. A perfect time of day to see the sun shining through the branches along the riverbank. I wasn’t able to stop to take pictures so have had to use one I took up in Scotland on August Bank Holiday weekend. It felt like the last of the summer sun and by the time I had got home there was a chill in the air.

Twilight sun shimmer

Deer grazing by the river

Sense of Autumn chill.


©Alison Jean Hankinson.


Today the prompt for dVerse Haibun Monday is komorebi which means sun that shines through the branches.

The feature image was taken at Threave just over a week ago, the other picture is of Dallam park, the deer shed is very near the river and the deer often congregate here. The image was labelled for reuse under creative commons- © Copyright Karl and Ali and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.