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Meet the Poet: Eliza McCarthy on Celebrating the Launch of the Mulberry Wine Pro Change Robe Evo

Posted by Lydia Burdett

Eliza McCarthy is a poet based in Cornwall, UK who is currently studying her degree in English Literature at Exeter University. We caught up with Eliza to learn more about her stunning poem, Late September Sky, written for the launch of our Mulberry Wine Pro Change Robe Evo...

"My poem, Late September Sky is centred around the time of year where the seasons change between summer and autumn. It sounds cliche, but I for one forget how good September’s arrival feels, then it rolls around every year, and I feel so grateful for the peace it brings. The days getting shorter, the mornings colder, the evenings a little darker. Where I live in Cornwall this is a favourite time of year for many people. The first of the autumn swells start to arrive in and the crowds disperse, it is always a welcome relief after the chaos of summer."

"I always listen to music when I write; when I was writing for Red during the launch for the Mulberry Wine Pro Change Robe Evo, I was listening to an Irish band called Lankum. I grew up listening to a lot of Irish music, so the band holds a lot of nostalgia for me. It’s incredible music with some haunting stories that accent a deep, droning backdrop. Lankum’s music brings images of changes in the seasons, it’s always the perfect thing to write to."

"This poem brings up so many memories of walking on Dartmoor as a child, jumping over gates or peering over hedges to see the farm animals on the other side. There would always be wool and it would always have a slightly oily or waxy texture, sometimes flecked with blue or red paint where the farmer has sprayed his sheep. It’s a very specific image but when I think of walking on Dartmoor, especially wearing warm snuggly jackets in the cold and wet of winter it is the first thing that comes to mind, so it’s a nostalgic one for me."

Late September Sky

A poem by Eliza McCarthy

Late afternoons yawn out of the windows

Rolled down as we let ashen air filter and fall through fingers as we drive home,

The other palm sitting in the familiar crease of a leather steering wheel

Watching a heavy horizon begin to soften and fold

The light threading through the needles of the trees

New paths are traced on rain spattered maps

The black mud of the moor becomes caked to the bottom of our shoes

There is waxy sheep wool caught in the slow barb of the wire that constitutes the field

It is a gentle lilt on the breeze

As we exchange smiles and stories of long hot summers as we slip into

The calm drenched cool of autumn

Where skeletons of the gorse and heather fall like paper

The secretive treasure of the smooth acorn is

Plucked and pocketed from the moist raw ground

We trace our fingers over the smooth shine as

They rest in the laps of our hands curled tightly into coats as

We continue to crunch the peat and the elephant grass under foot

As the evening hangs, softly as fog, to the gentle corners of the land

The flat bottom of glasses nod below the warm surface

It is roiling as another familiar body enters

And we laugh at the ludicrousy of being so warm

Snuck away from the soaking cold that hangs around our heads

Wrapped in steam

Later, our eyes are locked in a comforting satisfied gaze

As the fire burns in the warm darkness

Mouths are thick with sugar and clothes heavy with smoke

Metal flasks of soups and stews stowed in bags

Odd cups and jars clasped tight

And shared under a heavy sky

We look up at the cold sanctuary of our late September sky

It becomes smokey with cloud

our heads laid on the scratch of an old wool blanket

Grass caught in its frayed edges, stretched like a skin over the ground

Shoulders of friends are nudged together and hushed chatter is uttered under the milky dark

Sleepily watching the hours of our weekday week ebb away.

Words Eliza McCarthy