November in the northern hemisphere is well known for its lack of light and hope.
The last remnants of autumn flowers are defeated by rain and wind and the firework of turning leaves are swirled into the mud.
But robins still sing round bubbles of song and siskins jangle their pocketfuls of keys over the grey sky.
A skein of cormorants is waylaid by the low fog, but still pushes on through and from a wet apple tree, a dozen red kites lift off at midday to catch the upward air.
Their wings are sharp against the gloom and their sissor tails cut out a wedge of grey sky as they wheel slowly, magnificently upwards .
No sun — no moon!
No morn — no noon —
No dawn — no dusk — no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member —
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! —