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Posts Tagged ‘autumn’




Just when I believed
autumn would last forever
it didn’t.
Not that I really thought
the gold leaves would stay.
Not that I really believed
the warm days were endless—
but part of me wanted them to be.

And so this cold morning,
driving on ice
when I feel the slip of the wheels
as they lose traction,
the heart resonates
with the skid.

Oh, this lesson
in losing control.
Oh, this remembering
how quickly it all slides by—
the light, the warmth,
the deepening gold,
even this fleeting understanding
of how quickly
it all slides by.

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Spring in Fall


for Suzan


It feels right to walk
through naked trees
with our naked hearts
and our naked hands
and thrill in the sound
of wind in dry grass
and delight in how quickly
the clouds are shredded.

You could say, it’s just a day,
but perhaps a day such as this
spent practicing awe and openness
is what changes everything.
You step out of yourself.
Suddenly, anything could happen.

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Memory of sitting by the river,
you taking my picture,
the leaves around us
already changing—
you were happy that day,
camera in hand,
no hint of sorrow,
no augury of grief.
Oh, that beautiful day.
I fold it in half,
run my finger down the crease,
unfold it, rotate it ninety degrees
and fold it in half again.
In six more steps,
I’ve folded it neatly into a boat.
Someday, perhaps,
I will float it down the river.
Today, I tuck it
into my mind’s back pocket.
When I need to, I touch it,
run my fingers along the folds.
It carries me along
the current.

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            for Jay
 
 
We stepped into cool autumnal air
ripe with the red scent of tiny crab apples
and charged with the darkling promise of storm.
 
We were well-armed with studies and stories
on why we might want to choose awe—
but awe chose us the way gold chooses aspen,
 
the way love chooses friends,
the way shorter days choose fall,
the way beauty chooses what will die.
 
And aspen leaves whirled all around us
and caught in our hair, and we knew ourselves
as small essential beings in a wide, astonishing world.
 
 
*Hey, friends, just saying that the Original Thinkers Festival program on the Power of Awe was AMAZING!!! If you have never checked out Original Thinkers in Telluride, well, it is great for people who are curious and like to engage in conversations about paradox, science, emotion, the natural world and community. 

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Every day, more gold.
Every day, a sacred spilling
across the mountains, the valleys.

I have felt, before, like an aspen still green
when the surrounding trees
have transformed into radiance.

Oh, this learning to trust our own timing.
In the meantime, every day more gold.
Every day, a sacred spilling.

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The Autumn Morning




Perhaps a red-tailed hawk
calls to you through closed windows,
and curious, you leave your work
and step out into the morning.
The air smells of rain and autumn leaves,
and the hawk makes wide circles above the yard
as if showing you how it’s done—
this is how you play with the day.  

Everything glitters as the sun emerges.
Everything, even your thoughts.
Even your greatest loss.
The hawk disappears up canyon.
You breathe as if you’ve just remembered how.
When you go back in, you’re careful to fold in your wings.

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Out of Season




Autumn is, perhaps, befitting
for heartache—everywhere you look,
loss. Loss of leaves, loss of color,
loss of warmth, loss of light.
If you are grieving,
the barren world seems to mirror
what’s happening inside you.
Everything seems to say,
See, you can’t hold on.

So how to explain this explosion
of beauty, this unexpected spring of grace—
how to explain the way generosity
pushes through what’s dead
like apple trees in first pink,
how gratitude flourishes, enormous
invisible blooms, and though
you can’t see them, everywhere,
everywhere in this heart of autumn,
you smell the insistent green of springtide,
the astonishing perfume of love.


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The willows beside the river

are practicing how to let go—

they lose the bright red hue

of their skin and their leaves

turn brittle and brown.

It would be easy to think

they were dead if all I did

was pass them by. But

bend one willow, and it’s clear

how alive they still are,

flexible and sincere.

How little rest I allow myself.

I insist on my own evergreen.

How much could I learn

from November’s willows

that take a break from living?

I listen, as if the willows

might offer a teaching.

I listen until it dawns in me,

that the quiet

is the teaching.

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Making Applesauce

To buy three boxes of apples

is to believe the world

will go on long enough

that we should preserve

the goodness of autumn.

Perhaps it is practical

to cook the fruit,

to store it in jars,

but I prefer to think of it

as hope filling the house

with its sweet red perfume,

hope filling the shelves

with the memory

of sunshine, of bloom.

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… by and by, nor spare a sigh, though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie, and yet you will weep, and know why

            —Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Spring and Fall, To a Young Child”

The whole time I ran the lawnmower

through brown cottonwood leaves,

I recited Gerard Manley Hopkins

and waded in intricate cross tied rhymes

that defied the straight green paths

I was making. I hope Gerard doesn’t think it rude

I call him by his first name when I talk to him,

as I often do when walking alone.

He never speaks back, but I’d like to think

I’m better at listening for him.

As today when I repeated again his words

about worlds of wanwood leafmeal,

I swear he rose up

in the dry-honey scent of leaf dust

as if to say, this, this, this.

And while I pushed the red Toro

across the leaf-spangled lawn,

I thrilled to know the world as poem,

to know the ambush of tears as tiny wet poems

to know myself as a tired and ecstatic poem

while all around me the leaves continued to fall.

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