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Posts Tagged ‘fall’

That time of year thou mayst in me behold …. Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

            William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

And though the leaves may fall and molder,

though the winter nights get colder,

and though, my love, we both grow older,

may the choir in me that sings for you

be ever clear and ever blue—

the stream beneath your red canoe.

And though it seems that time’s a thief

and leaf subsides to crumbled leaf

and though the days are gnawed by grief,

may I sing for you forever sweet

in tunes both tame and indiscreet—

sing bare, unruined, my heart, my beat.

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Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers, “Grow, grow.”

            —The Talmud

 

Imagine them, all those angels

jostling over the field,

catching their hands

in each other’s halos,

their wings a shimmering

fuss. Imagine the rising tide

of the chorus, how

whisper turns clamor

turns turbulent roar.

Imagine the dizzying pitch

of encouragement, grow,

Grow, GROW, until bam!

a riotous tumult of green.

 

But what of the song

at the end of the season,

when angels, exhausted,

sigh rest, rest. And they press

their tired cheeks against

each other’s faces, let

their wings dangle

in lucent grace. And the field,

seeded, relaxes and goldens

and sleeps. And the angels

snuggle in sacred heaps and breathe,

and breathe, white robes

like snow, and they sleep talk

between their sonorous snores,

that’s enough, dear one, let go.

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Hymn to What’s Bare

 

 

 

Last night’s wind scoured

the trees and stripped

their boughs—

it is easy in today’s calm

to wish my soul had been out

in the woods last night.

Emptiness reveals more

than all the gold, all design.

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Of course the angels fall—

perhaps when leaning in closer

to hear our whispers

 

or when trying to keep up with us

as we dance—

 

perhaps because they wish

in that moment for bodies such as ours,

bodies so full of hope and passion,

 

so alive with risk and rush,

that they trip on their hems

 

and forget for a moment

they have wings, forget for a moment

 

they’re supposed to be guarding us,

preferring to watch as we fall, too,

all of us ripe, sweet apples.

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When October Goes

And now we come to the part of autumn
which is more fell than falling.

It’s hard to not miss the gold,
just as it’s hard to not miss the lips

of your lover when he’s gone.
You tell yourself that absence

makes the heart grow. Your self
is not impressed. You tell yourself

that the absence
is beautiful. But absence today is

absence—an inability to be present,
and your thoughts are anywhere

but here—in fact, they have gone to one
specific anywhere where it’s still

gold and warm and the heart
is so full it can’t hear a word anyone says

in an attempt to warn it
about how things change.

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Migration

IMG_0307

the bird inside me
migrated
I miss its song—
this morning was so quiet
watching frost melt
on the fallen leaves

*

did I, too, forget
how to sing?
did I also
fly away
from myself?

*

my hands
do not need to be asked—
they move unbidden
to touch the places
on my body
where the pain
unfolds

*

and here
and here
and here—
touch me here
and here
and here

*

what use is a tongue?
what use is song?
what use these hands?
what use silence?

*

who is the one
who thinks of the world
in terms of usefulness?

*

it was a long time
before I heard
the leaves had a song
of their own
but only
when
I moved

*

the nest
is still here
inside—when
you’re not looking
I fold up my
silence, my
hands, my
wants
and hide

*

is it
so wrong
sometimes
I pretend
I am
gone

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so small
the weight
and yet
too much
to hold
and so
it falls
not that
it is
not lovely
not that
it is
not wanted
not that
we could
force the
liberation
just that
it is
time
for it
to fall

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Just this morning
the leaves were green

in this stand of aspen
that now flash gold—

it happens that fast,
though of course

there is nothing
quick about it.

It took a whole season
to grow the leaf

and nurture it into
brilliance. And

it took decades
to grow the tree that grew

the leaf. And what
of evolution? Oh patience.

Perhaps this is why
on the woman who’s finally learning

how to sit still beside the leaves
there’s a bit of salt water

sliding down her skin.

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With All the Seeds Inside

There is no work
for the dried out thistle
but to be dry—the earth
has long since spent
its richest greens
and the thistle globes,
spiny and brown,
need now do nothing
but prove how
everything falls.

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