Oh, I remember now
A dell of snow,
Frost on the bough;
None there but I:
Snow, snow, and a wintry sky.
None there but I,
And footprints one by one,
Where I had run;
Where shrill and powdery
A robin sat in the tree.
And he whistled sweet;
And I in the crusted snow
With snow-clubbed feet
Jigged to and fro,
Till, from the day,
The rose-light ebbed away.
And the robin flew
Into the air, the air,
The white mist through;
And small and rare
The night-frost fell
In the calm and misty dell.
And the dusk gathered low,
And the silver moon and stars
On the frozen snow
Drew taper bars,
Kindled winking fires
In the hooded briers.
And the sprawling Bear
Growled deep in the sky;
And Orion’s hair
Streamed sparkling by:
But the North sighed low,
“Snow, snow, more snow!”
Gather ‘round the table now
To be with one another
As snowflakes cuddle on the tree
Like children ‘round their mother
The last of the tomatoes have been harvested
The garden discarded
The sun tries to peek out
From behind looming clouds
That seek to blanket the days in shades of gray
While the wind seems to wisp
The remaining leaves on the trees away
Chasing daylight in the morning and night
Bodies continue to hurry and bustle
An inward call beckons come to rest
Nights cool, rain falls, mind calms
Dancing with the rhythm of the season
As Mother Nature takes the lead
The breath of cool air seems to invite all at ease
As I sing the lullaby of November.
Beautiful landscape! I could look on thee
For hours, unmindful of the storm and strife,
And mingled murmurs of tumultuous life.
Here, all is still as fair; the stream, the tree,
The wood, the sunshine on the bank: no tear,
No thought of Time’s swift wing, or closing night,
That comes to steal away the long sweet light
No sighs of sad humanity are here.
Here is no tint of mortal change; the day,
Beneath whose light the dog and peasant-boy
Gambol, with look, and almost bark, of joy,
Still seems, though centuries have passed, to stay.
Then gaze again, that shadowed scenes may teach
Lessons of peace and love, beyond all speech.
Fall, a Song by John Denver
Reflections in the water like shadows in my mind
Speak to me of passing days and nights and passing time
The falling leaves are whispering, “Winter’s on its way,”
I close my eyes, remembering the warmth of yesterday
It seems a shame to see September swallowed by the wind
And more than that, it’s, oh, so sad to see the summer end
And though the changing colors are a lovely thing to see
If it were mine to make the change, I think I’d let it be
But I don’t remember hearing anybody asking me
I think he knows I’m alive, having come down
The three steps of the back porch
And given me a good once over. All afternoon
He’s been moving back and forth,
Gathering odd bits of walnut shells and twigs,
While all about him the great fields tumble
To the blades of the thresher. He’s lucky
To be where he is, wild with all that happens.
He’s lucky he’s not one of the shadows
Living in the blond heart of the wheat.
This autumn when trees bolt, dark with the fires
Of starlight, he’ll curl among their roots,
Wanting nothing but the slow burn of matter
On which he fastens like a small, brown flame.
Green valleys stretching wide
with patchworking in brown
and it’s my home.
I’ve walked every inch of the
Strayed from path and beaten trail
(though I never passed
them by without having
tried them once).
Idled beside cold trickling
and watched deer pass
full of beauty.
My heart is here
buried mid the dust
will be eroded by the rains
tempered by the winds and
But never shall it be
extracted nor extricated
For its roots are in the
deep in the earth
to that which it holds
dear. – JWD
Source: “Nature’s Quiet Conversations” by John Weeks (p.103)
The whiskey stink of rot has settled
in the garden, and a burst of fruit flies rises
when I touch the dying tomato plants.
Still, the claws of tiny yellow blossoms
flail in the air as I pull the vines up by the roots
and toss them in the compost.
It feels cruel. Something in me isn’t ready
to let go of summer so easily. To destroy
what I’ve carefully cultivated all these months.
Those pale flowers might still have time to fruit.
My great-grandmother sang with the girls of her village
as they pulled the flax. Songs so old
and so tied to the season that the very sound
seemed to turn the weather.
Silence again. The glorious symphony
Hath need of pause and interval of peace.
Some subtle signal bids all sweet sounds cease,
Save hum of insects’ aimless industry.
Pathetic summer seeks by blazonry
Of color to conceal her swift decrease.
Weak subterfuge! Each mocking day doth fleece
A blossom, and lay bare her poverty.
Poor middle-aged summer! Vain this show!
Whole fields of Golden-Rod cannot offset
One meadow with a single violet;
And well the singing thrush and lily know,
Spite of all artifice which her regret
Can deck in splendid guise, their time to go!