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Posts Tagged ‘leaves’

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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I watched it happen, the confrontation.

The one who was hurt and the one

with no inkling that harm had been done,

and my heart ached for both of them—

for all of us really—all of us fragile, all of us

witless, all of us longing to love, to be loved

for being ourselves.

 

Outside the window, the leaves

were brilliantly dying, burning auburn,

vermillion, a heart swelling show

of what it is we’ve come here to do—

to give our all and give some more,

to do it unreservedly.

 

It’s all a series of repetition, design—

the leaves, the fall, the hurt, the blame,

the confusion, the reconciliation.

It’s all a matter of pattern and letting

go, letting go of whatever we think we know

about how to give.

 

What I’m trying to say is if I have hurt you,

I’m sorry. I don’t understand my own thorns.

I think I am singing and it comes out crooked.

I think I’m supporting and it comes out cage.

There are so many mistakes in my blood,

all of them believing they’re butterflies.

 

My friend tells me the leaves in fall

are returning to their true colors—

how the necessary chlorophyll disguises

what’s really inside.

 

What I’m trying to say is look at the leaves

outside the window, see how vibrant they are?

I am trying to love like that,

every day, the colors more true.

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for Jack Ridl and all the rakers

 

 

Pulling the rake through the cottonwood leaves,

I think of Jack in Michigan pulling his rake

through beech, birch, oak and ash leaves.

I stop to lean on my rake and I think

of him stopping to lean on his rake

and talk to the gods. I’m not so sure I believe

in gods, but I believe in Jack. I believe in kindness.

I believe in friendship that grows despite distance.

I believe that these rhythms of raking and making piles

bring us closer together—all of us rakers, all of us

who step into the slow cadence of pull and reach,

and pull and reach. There is something unifying

in this annual act of tidying the world. Every day

the news is full of all we can’t set right. But we

can drag the rake through the yard so that we

can see the path again. And we can set the rake

aside and stare at the sky and think of all

the people we love and all the people

we’ll never know who join us in this simple act,

reach and pull, reach and pull, reach and pull,

the sound of metal tines grating, the beat

of our own hearts scraping against our chests.

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Not only all around us
are the leaves letting go,
but inside us, too, so much
is falling. All those fluttersome
dreams we thought would last
forever. Imagine that. There
was a time we believed
that summer would never end.
We truly believed it. No one
could have convinced us then
of a thing called autumn.
And here it is. For hours
today I could have grieved
the leaves as they released—
gold and more gold and innumerable
shades of brown. But I did not.
Funny how the world goes on
despite all this falling. Funny
how beautiful it is to me now,
the empty branches, the adamant wind, the dank
scent of the world as it changes.

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Falling

It is good
to ache with love.
Tonight
the empty
cottonwood arms
let the moon
escape.
Earlier
they threw
all their leaves
and made a path
of gold.
I walk it
in the dark.
It is all
so beautiful,
so empty,
cold. I take
the long
way home.

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