Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.
~ Emily Bronte
impermanence is our true state
A scent of ripeness from over a wall.
And come to leave the routine road
And look for what had made me stall,
There sure enough was an apple tree
That had eased itself of its summer load,
And of all but its trivial foliage free,
Now breathed as light as a lady's fan.
For there had been an apple fall
As complete as the apple had given man.
The ground was one circle of solid red.
May something go always unharvested!
May much stay out of our stated plan,
Apples or something forgotten and left,
So smelling their sweetness would be no theft.
by Robert Frost
from The Poetry of Robert Frost
© Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
The words for fall are crisp and sharp.
They taste like apples.
The afternoon light is clear and gold.
Fresh, stony white wine.
The nghts come early, starry skied.
Autumn's voices are trumpet, flute, and harp.
Autumn's Beauty, Love, Wealth:
A caramel apple with pecans bought at the Farmer's Market.
Winding road through Mother Earth's incredible hairdo in the burnished countryside at the edge of town.
Hay just mowed and left to cure in the sun.
Sun shining through ripe grasses loaded with seeds that mice will gather and store for winter food.
Butterflies ready for Halloween, making their rounds for sweets, in colored costumes.
Nice spicy donuts and hot cider. And good sturdy soups and homemade bread.
Trees turning color and a female cardinal disappearing into a Japenese maple.
Bonfires after dark, marshmallows on sticks, smokey smells, firelight songs, the stars in a full-moon sky.
Rain and its thundering fireworks washing the early morning hours of an October Saturday.
If the rain could only clean the world of explosions, hot-blooded talk and upheavels of the soul.
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back
from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere
except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle
of unobservable mysteries - - - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This
I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn
flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - - - how everything lives, shifting
from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
by Mary Oliver
The summer ends, and it is time
To face another way. Our theme
Reversed, we harvest the last row
To store against the cold, undo
The garden that will be undone.
We grieve under the weakened sun
To see all earth's green fountains dried,
And fallen all the works of light.
You do not speak, and I regret
This downfall of the good we sought
As though the fault were mine. I bring
The plow to turn the shattering
Leaves and bent stems into the dark,
From which they may return. At work,
I see you leaving our bright land,
The last cut flowers in your hand.
by Wendell Berry
from A Timbered Choir (Counterpoint)
There you are
finished for a season
finished with your fragrant greening -
soon to put aside your apparel.
But the deep heart of the earth
If I am awake -
if I am quiet
I can hear a pulse
a dark verdant stirring
like hope before dawn
like the silence before rain
like the sound of the summer grass growing.
If I am still
and pay close attention
I can hear a heart beat.
by Josue Behnen, OSB
November 21, 2004
Autumn brings a blush to countryside
as if the Earth had seen too much
of lovers from the Summer past
and with a deep red glow of modesty
prepares to shed her leafy negligee
and sleep in robes of whitest purity
until seduced again by temptations
of a youthful Spring.
— Vance Kimbrel, Jr.
Leaf after leaf
the fall of summer.