Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Poems for Autumn

These are some old autumn poems for Autumn to celebrate its first day. Ave Autumn!



Sonnet: To Autumn

A stream of sunshine swirls upon the breeze
And wends its way between the waving leaves,
But all the wonders that the eye may seize
Seem trifles next to what the heart perceives.
These gifts you give must drop and turn to dust
Beneath the feet and paws that pass them by
Or scatter like a daydream in a gust
That sweeps them skyward, careless where they fly.
You lay your patchwork quilt upon the soil
To wrap in warmth each tender, sleeping seed
And bring to fruit another season’s toil:
The great repast on which your children feed.
Your glory falls--but thus proclaims your name;
Its embers fade--but set our hearts aflame.


The Gift of Gold

Autumn has only one color
Late in the season
When sunlight clothes
The otherwise drearily naked forms
Of everything and anything it can
In auras of gossamer gold.

The limbs of the trees, bare
Except for an occasional straggler,
Gradually lose their voices
Whenever the wind walks by for a chat;
But below, a cacophonous carpet
Cries out at the touch of the tiniest foot

And raises a storm of acrid dust--
A dazzling shower of gemstones
Alight in the swirls of the air,
Whirlpools of afternoon sun
That suck out each hesitant breath
And capture each word in the breast.

The bitterness stinging nostrils and tongue
Disappears in this sweet, ambrosial draught
Raining down from the heavens,
Every particle a flood washing through
The eyes, bathing clean and brilliant
Once again the heart and the mind.

These gifts of the seasons--gold, green, or white--
Have been offered each morning with kindness
And love like a parent's for one
Special child, one twinkling babe
Who at last crawls awake with a smile
And blinks in a halo of light.

Once, I found a ring of purest gold
On the floor of the forest, hiding there
Just beneath a layer of leaves.
And I carried it from door to door,
But no one would claim or receive what I held,
So I buried it back in the leaves after dusk.