Archives for category: Seasonal

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FALL
by Edward Hirsch

Fall, falling, fallen. That’s the way the season
Changes its tense in the long-haired maples
That dot the road; the veiny hand-shaped leaves
Redden on their branches (in a fiery competition
With the final remaining cardinals) and then
Begin to sidle and float through the air, at last
Settling into colorful layers carpeting the ground.
At twilight the light, too, is layered in the trees
In a season of odd, dusky congruences—a scarlet tanager
And the odor of burning leaves, a golden retriever
Loping down the center of a wide street and the sun
Setting behind smoke-filled trees in the distance,
A gap opening up in the treetops and a bruised cloud
Blamelessly filling the space with purples. Everything
Changes and moves in the split second between summer’s
Sprawling past and winter’s hard revision, one moment
Pulling out of the station according to schedule,
Another moment arriving on the next platform. It
Happens almost like clockwork: the leaves drift away
From their branches and gather slowly at our feet,
Sliding over our ankles, and the season begins moving
Around us even as its colorful weather moves us,
Even as it pulls us into its dusty, twilit pockets.
And every year there is a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless
Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air:
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us.

PAINTING: “Autumn Maple” by Eric Bachman. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

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AUTUMN MOVEMENT
by Carl Sandburg

I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.

The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman, the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.

The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go, not one lasts.

PAINTING: “Wheat Field with Reaper and Sun” by Vincent van Gogh (1889).

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AUTUMN GRASSES
by Margaret Gibson

In fields of bush clover and hay-scent grass
the autumn moon takes refuge
The cricket’s song is gold

Zeshin’s loneliness taught him this

Who is coming?
What will come to pass, and pass?

Neither bruise nor sweetness nor cool air
not-knowing
knows the way

And the moon?
Who among us does not wander, and flare
and bow to the ground?

Who does not savor, and stand open
if only in secret

taking heart in the ripening of the moon?

(Shibata Zeshin, Autumn Grasses, two-panel screen)

ILLUSTRATION: “Autumn Grasses in Moonlight” (ink, lacquer, and silver leaf on paper) by Shibata Zeshin (1807-1891).

ILLUSTRATION CREDIT: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Harry G. C. Packard Collection of Asian Art, Gift of Harry G. C. Packard, and Purchase, Fletcher, Rogers, Harris Brisbane Dick, and Louis V. Bell Funds, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and The Annenberg Fund Inc. Gift, 1975.

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A Boston-based costume website advises would-be customers to “Capture the Great Gatsby Era.” While revelers in other cities are dressing up as ghouls, zombies, witches, and Honey Boo Boo, Bostonians are celebrating Halloween by dressing as Jay Gatsby, Tom and Daisy Buchanan, Jordan Baker, and Nick CarrawayTrès elegant…

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AUTUMN OFFERING

by Judith A. Lawrence

I shall be Autumn

this Halloween,

with leaf draped skirt,

and folds of

boysenberry velvet wine

flowing to the ground.


 
Brown stained face,

eyes rimmed in gold,

nails dripping sunset,

a crown of twigs

to cover my head.


 
You may gather from me

the spring of my youth,

my summer of maturity,

and hold onto with me,

the solace of these days

of remembering

before the frost.

ILLUSTRATION: “Gothic Arch, Autumn Glow” by Linda Boston, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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AUTUMN FIRES
by Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
  And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
  See the smoke trail!
 
Pleasant summer over
  And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
  The gray smoke towers.
 
Sing a song of seasons!
  Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
  Fires in the fall!
***
“Autumn Fire” appears in Robert Louis Stevenson‘s 1885 collection A Child’s Garden of Verses.

ILLUSTRATION: “Burning Leaves” by Gigistar, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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AUTUMN WIND
by Jack Kerouac

Bird bath thrashing
by itself — 
Autumn wind. 

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AUTUMN HAIKU
by Jack Kerouac

Cool sunny autumn day,
I’ll mow the lawn
one last time

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I Tell You It Is October! (Excerpt)
by Jack Kerouac

There’s something olden and golden and lost
In the strange ancestral light,
There’s something tender and loving and sad
In October’s copper might.

End of something, old, old, old…
Always missing, sad, sad, sad…
Saying something…love, love, love…

Akh! I tell you it is October,
And I defy you now and always
To deny there is not love

Staring foolishly at skies
Whose beauty but God defies.

For in October’s ancient glow
A little after dusk
Love strides through the meadow
Dropping her burnished husk…

***
“I Tell You It Is October” appears in Jack Kerouac Collected Poems, a 700+-page collection of Kerouac’s poetry published by The Library of America in 2012, available at Amazon.com.

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OCTOBER
by Robert Frost

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
***
Watercolor by Laura Trevey. Prints available at brika.com.