Autumn Poem

I don’t write much poetry any more, and I never liked rhyming much, but here’s something in honor of the new season.  Because sometimes poetry is the best language, if words are necessary at all.

Autumn Chagall

I watched a dying leaf
(or was it dead?)
I don’t know why,
There against or for
the smooth blue cloudless sky;
Cell by cell I supposed
that it was letting go
Upon the far-extended fingertip
of the maplebranch, or toe;
Its crust-crinkled wrinkling
was over, it was time
To set its clock back twinkling
with the candle-stars in shine;
I looked up long, expecting momentary
But then the wind stopped to
catch its breath
And there was no urge to drop
at all;
I still looked up as still as I could be
and felt the over-reaching elbows
of the con-ascending tree;
Hearing other crispy parachuters
dancing down
I wondered with an upturned smile
if my leaf made me fool or clown;
A bumbled bee did a landing pattern
loudly ‘round my head
So I waved her off
afraid to miss
the resurrection
of the dead;
Odd words it’s true to choose
when one might lose
the best measure of the day
Sketching anticipated fluttering flight
from high where none can permanently stay;

I squinted to spy with green-brushed eye
the exact point of connection
Where stem meets stem
surrounding them
with sappy, inter-affection;
Below the place above my face
where tiny birds would chatter
and as I saw them move
so graceful
as I’d like to in that
I dreamed a beam
a silent stream
of knowing
sent a map
invisible to all but
lifeless little leaf friend
guided gently
to my lap.

{San Geronimo Valley. October 25, 2003}

Other selections from my un-published book, Edge of the Falls

Categories: WritingTags: , , , , ,


  1. Chris. Writing a wonderful poem as an observer of the leaves of Fall is much more engaging than having to rake them up after they all clamour to the ground looking for water. I think we just ought to leaf them alone. HA!

  2. That’s an awesome piece, Chris. Love it!

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