Poetry Party #24! I select an image and suggest a title and invite you to respond with your poems, words, reflections, quotes, song lyrics, etc. Leave them in the comments or email me and I’ll add them to the body of the post as they come in along with a link back to your blog if you have one (not required to participate!) Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog and encourage others to come join the party!
Today is the autumnal equinox, a time when the sun rests above the equator and day and night are divided equally. It heralds in a season filled with change and the brilliant beauty of death. I invite you to write your own ode to autumn. What are the gifts, challenges, and invitations for you in the days ahead?
Chill September Winds
Trees Embrace Death’s Beauty
Vibrant Colors Fade
-Joe Miller at More Than Cake
these are my favorite days
when the summer heat begins
to fade into fall’s crisp palette
of expectancy and comfort
I want to match the colors
with aromas savory and sweet
layers of flavor and hope that
sustain as the nights grow long
and winter hangs on the horizon
barren branches and grey mornings
the chill that goes bone-deep
as the world falls asleep
on my best days I see the trees
each one a burning bush
leaves letting go with flare (and flair!)
letting go and falling to earth
I turn the lights on earlier
and stir the same reds and oranges
in the pan relishing the sound of the
sizzle of squash and peppers
these are my favorite days
when the cold and dark call
to remember however I fall
love will catch me
-Milton at Don’t Eat Alone
The change of colors
in our autumn
is to return to
our original shades
-Rebecca at The Difference a Year Makes
“Melody of Susan”
Isn’t it enough
that the wind storm
has driven away the trill
of the summer cicadas?
And now on this day
of Autumn Equinox
there will still be no balance
to the night and the day.
Where is the other pair
of sacred wing beats
that use to rise along side
to hide in magnolia?
And while the crimson
deepens to its death
this dove will perch alone
’til the bare branch turns green.
-Bette Norcross Wappner at Surimono Garden
In Which Creator Calls My Name
reflecting the sacred
indicative of the season,
now, Carolyn, now.
Crimson Leaf pauses, yellow veins pulsate, and she joins the Wind in a dance of wildest
Last evening, Mischievous Elf splotched her gown with driplets of violet.
With the cries of north-heading birds their only orchestra,
They seem to sing…
Our dazzling performance
Will be over.”
Autumn’s gifts of colour
drift obliquely, gently,
on the promise of winter.
Gathered together here,
at the edges of things,
they mourn the season’s loss.
Golden yellows and rustic
browns, lay with deep reds,
brittle with bloodless veins.
The short-lived patchwork stirs,
tumbles again, regrouping,
till winter’s linen is laid.
-Andy at A Man Breathing
VERNAL EQUINOX (a contribution from the Southern hemisphere)
UTC 080922 15.44
It happened last night:
AEST 080923 01.44.
It came in southern darkness
To say that summer isn’t far away.
It came in the sleepy midnight
To say that winter really would go
And the sun would come to stay.
This is my true herald of hope.
The depression and gloom of winter go
Replaced with hope and blossoming life
And a knowledge that sun and heat
Will cleanse my soul
And joy it into play.
-Miss Eagle at Desert
When Moses saw the burning bush it must have been the Autumnal Equinox, yet such a pharse would not have entered his mind. His sandles were off, resting in blue sand. This sumac with an Eastern name burst crimson before him. No sheep, no jar of water, no shroud to cover his face.
Nature had chosen Moses in this season of dying.
We must allow God his unpredictableness
-Tom Delmore at Crow’s Perch
starting out with equal parts
day and night
with leaves falling
and differently scented air
autumn eases into cooler longer nights
for better dreaming
creation winters in sleep
until on the other side
spring bursts open
splendid in resurrection liberty
reborn in greater wisdom
and overflowing depth
so instead of sadness
over another sorrowful summer
I’m ready to welcome
a season of settled quiet
and excited to anticipate
next summer’s festivities!
-Leah Sophia at This Far by Faith
The gate to the next path
on the yearly journey
stands wide and welcoming.
Lit softly, smothered
with crisp bright garlands.
The golden dark lane
invites me through richness
toward the bare, drifting
bone-deep beauty to come.
-Tess and Anchors and Masts
And the dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down…Rev. 12.7-9
The great red dragon.
The old stories tell of your time in the heavens;
the woman clothed with the sun, and the war.
The thread you hung by grew weak as
your dashing red matured.
And in your arrogance you were cut loose,
bringing a third with you.
You will only flourish for a season.
The male child will come to rule with iron.
And we, the rocks, will cry out.
-John Blase at Dirty Shame
in the stillness
and the quiet
death to self
waiting, watching as
the realization of change within
falls on me
the place of Rest
I can only call it
-Deb Vaughn at An Unfinished Symphony
Autumn has begun
blue stones hold a reddish leaf
the river hums by
-Martha Louise Harkness
There is a
in a death
accepted with grace…
-Sally Coleman at Eternal Echoes
No Emptiness in Letting Go
The heart of autumn’s gifts
are its twin energies
It is a season of paradox
that invites us to consider
what we are called
to release and surrender.
At the same time, it invites us
to gather in the harvest,
to name and celebrate the fruits
of the seeds we planted months ago.
In holding these two in tension,
we are reminded that
in our letting go
we also find abundance.
By Christine! (Paintner that is) :-)
Submitted by Pam (her title)
I don’t want to let go.
At this moment I have something,
I AM something.
What if I let go?
Calculating the probabilities….
Tipping from the known to the unknown,
I remember faith and hope.
I let go.
The leaves should be turning the air
sharp with the bite, of frosted
apples heavy in the sun, gleaming
wetly with feasting wasps warmed
by the last lingering caress
of a fleeing sun.
My bones know the turning,
the swing of this old Earth as days
grow shorter, and they wait
in a new land where the oaks,
festooned with Christmas balls
of dusky blue go on
as if time stood still, heat
still dewing the brow as noon
creeps on toward summer, unaware
that winter lives in another place.
The bright shocking red to hold
as a talisman against the coming dark
fades to unreality and bird call
outside my window brings its own shock
in a place where there is no need
to flee South, or beneath the rich
black soil, wet with the last tears
of summer. For all is warm, and dry
forever and ever and we might forget
that anywhere else exists, or that time
spins on without us here where autumn
comes shyly, and gently, if at all.
-Christina at Left Turn at Joy
Questions Posed of a Leaf
Would I have even noticed you
if you had lain there in the drift
of leaves all red and orange and gold
just another vivid token
an ordinary miracle
trampled under foot?
How can it be that you,
separated and fallen from your source of life
can be so exquisite in your dying?
What is the measure of your worth by now?
Too old, beyond your chlorophyll bearing days
no longer exhaling oxygen and gulping CO2
or providing cooling shade,
is your only future the bonfire or the yard bag?
Will you now contribute to the carbon footprint
you reduced when you were truly ‘green’?
Maybe in the best scenario someone’s livelihood
will be to sweep you up to make you into mulch and
spread you on the garden beds. Or that a child will marvel at you,
choose and give you (gift you are!) to someone dear.
Until then, my brilliant friend, nothing is left for you to do
but to delight the eye.
-Ann Howard at the winding mind
no longer are you the seed of promise
or the hope-filled tender shoot.
No longer are you the tight bud
or the splayed folds of a shameless blossom
wet with perfume.
The hours, liquid and lazy as honey,
have given you all that they could to coax your good fruit
as did the early and late rains and this breathing world.
Now the blade and the hand have come
to cut and pluck your increase
Now is the season of your surrender
as you succumb to rest.
I fall down to the ground
Unable to rise again
And no desire
To climb back up.
Breath of wind carries me
To all of the places
That I am meant to see.
Coming to rest in the solidity
Of what I can not know
Dissolving into what is.
-Rebecca Johnson (from Alaska)
Death having done its worst
you lie in crimson splendor
stark in contrast with a world
that cannot make sense
and so we struggle
and so we stare
at you, made beautiful in death
hoping that death was
not cruel, but merely sudden
-ymp at Means of Grace
The blue stones cradle the fallen,
The bright leaf fell, I saw it float.
Teased by the wind, drifting along.
Up and down, like a bright red boat.
I am not dead, you know, but asleep,
I may lay here silently still; I played
On a branch, watching above, now
Waiting for re-birth; I am unafraid.
I will lose the colour of living, but
Still my body does feed the earth.
I will live to give this tree its life,
That bore me into life cycle’s birth.
Be not afraid, for your life will end
Here, in one sense, it must leave.
As it arrives to where it’s going, know,
Love also begins where it ends; receive.
-S. Diane Trollope at Spiritual Motion
A Japanese Tanka
today’s crisp bouquet
cinnamon and pumpkin pie
upon the mountain
forest green and yellow gold
fall has come to be again
-Annie Thorndike (age 10)
-Christine Valters Paintner @ Abbey of the Arts