Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Invitation to Poetry: Autumn Blessings

Welcome to Poetry Party No. 47!

I select an image and suggest a theme/title and invite you to respond with your poems or other reflections. Add your responses in the comments section. Feel free to take your poem in any direction and then post the image and invitation on your blog (if you have one) and encourage others to come join the party! (permission is granted to reprint the image if a link is provided back to this post)

Please post your poem in the comments section below (feel free to include a link to your blog – it would be wonderful to have all of the full text of all the poems gathered together below).

Poetry Party Theme: Autumn Blessings

Autumn is my favorite season (followed closely by winter). I love the air getting crisper, I love the harvest of fall squashes, I love the transformation of the landscape into a witness to the beauty that can be found in surrender. Seven years ago my mother died suddenly in the month of October and my long walks among the autumn leaves offered me tremendous comfort in the depths of my grief. The seasons offer us great wisdom when we listen to their invitations and questions.

I invite you to write a poem about the gifts, graces, invitations, questions, and challenges of autumn. Let your words be a celebration and exploration.

You might also enjoy

Sister Thea Bowman ~ A Love from Your Online Abbess

Dearest monks and artists, We are very excited to be hosting ValLimar Jansen this Friday for a mini-retreat. She is an extraordinary musician and performer and has a special love for Sister Thea Bowman, a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and prophetic witness to the Black American

Read More »

Monk in the World Guest Post: Susan Fish

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Susan Fish’s reflection on meeting Jesus by a cedar tree. Imagine walking to a river, my spiritual director says. Sit with Jesus

Read More »

81 Responses

  1. Amazing, amazing, amazing, my heart explodes with joy and awe at reading each of these treasures. Thanks for creating a virtual poetry community here at the Abbey, I am blessed by each contribution.

  2. Bonfire phil sneve

    An old homestead in decay
    Bits and pieces of past days,
    In the back yard thick with weeds
    An old place for youthful deeds,

    Rust upon flakey rust
    The label shows Germans past,
    Do old steel beer cans
    Remember the bonfires?
    The smell of burning leaves,
    Grass and twigs and girls?
    Voices shrill with the notion
    Of encounters with these innocents:
    Should we smoke? No not now.
    Are you sure? Are you sure?

    Winking sparks climb in night sky,
    Old souls released heavenward.

  3. The Stars Shine by Phil Sneve

    The stars shine over your pale head
    And the sea rushes up like sheets
    For your bed, the flame of summer
    Burns sweet as I, in bare feet,

    Set a foot on autumn’s cool,
    And I promise you I will go to bed
    If I am meant to age no more
    Let me go when the trees burn red.

  4. I love your work and being part of your thoughts on Autumn, my favourite season. This poem is about the sounds here in Australia at this beautiful season but of course we are experiencing the champagne nose tickling heady perfume of spring as you enjoy the crunch of autumn .


    a time to listen

    rustic tones of the wind

    the leaf brush on the air

    wake of the bird on wing

    the cricket croke and buzz of fly

    plonk and rippit of frogs

    the busy under world

    with cracks and groans

    of beetles and ants

    sunning skinks and lizards

    in their leaf litter rush of hide and seek

    kerplop of berries falling

    drift of the vesper leaves

    as they come to rest with only a hush.

    this seasonal paradigm

    no warning and no fuss

    except it is its time.

    colleen keating

  5. For Rick

    My year begins again in autumn:
    Remembering your passing through the veil
    Just as the leaves that once hid the branches
    fall in glorious, colorful abandon
    making way for new growth
    imperceptible, starting now

  6. Amazing contributions! Thank you once again Christine for the invitation. Here’s mine:


    He smiles to see them,
    like the bards of old,
    penning poems in 140,
    cropping photos of colour,
    posting updates of light change,
    crafting blog posts of falling,
    typing haikus of wonder,
    sharing mysteries in poem fests,
    painting web words of autumn,
    claiming hashtags of
    and #mellowfruitfulness
    yes, it makes him smile,
    to see them,
    like the bards of old,
    declaring love lines of the season,
    quite unable to resist.

  7. The Path Out

    Scent of oak leaves crunch under foot.
    A gentle breeze brings down the last–
    Softly rustling through mostly bare branches.
    The path, so enclosed by summer’s growth
    now offers vista of woods, sloping hillside
    down to barely moving creek,
    where one leaf’s landing creates
    expanding pattern of concentric ripples.

    Once hidden panorama of hill and valley
    Now extends to open sky beyond.
    Drink in the view, but step carefully.
    Rock and root underfoot lie
    Menacingly hidden beneath
    This crunching scent of leaves.

  8. Ruffles

    The time is here
    To feel the breeze
    Of crystal air secrets

    Crinkled on the forest floor
    Scattered fallen leaves
    Reminding me
    Of summer soon gone by

    My heart grows amber
    With the warming tones
    Of green gone gold
    In autumn’s ruffles

  9. Autumn Rain

    A secret breeze blows
    in the dark
    allowing plump droplets
    to perform
    high-diving back-flips
    from leaf to leaf
    freed in fall
    by the whispering
    invitation to leap

  10. Autumn Calls

    Gently letting go
    as cool winds blow,
    rocking in the wind
    as gravity lulls,
    piling on each other,
    leaves say ‘Goodnight’
    in autumn
    as their gifts of beauty and life
    pass from present to past
    having been born in our sight
    having shaded us from trouble
    and having flashed wonder before our eyes.
    Good night leaves!
    Sleep well.
    Autumn calls.