Chimes on Autumn wind
Hold winter at bay for now
But cold always wins
Chimes on Autumn wind
Hold winter at bay for now
But cold always wins
Green fades from tree tops
Grass stops growing beneath them
October is here
Early Autumn thunder,
The thinning tree leaves let it in.
Their resistance is weaker, less resilient.
They nod their heads in confusion and look to each other for explanation as
Thunder rocks their roots and
Lightening sparkles in the air around them.
It is an unusual storm for Autumn as it
Comes in on strong northwest winds with the violence of a humid August storm,
As if needing to prove its might just one more time before
Winter’s cold takes its strength away.
Each season’s change is a mix of the one before and the one to come.
No wonder the trees look confused.
The forest is different now,
Everything has changed.
The sky’s blue is colder,
The north wind is stronger, and
The trees’ summer green has faded.
Their leaves, lighter green now, are studded with hints of red and gold, brown and yellow.
My garden plants are lying over
As if to say “enough”.
They are entitled, they have given me all they can.
But nasturtiums, marigolds and impatients are troopers and refuse to let go.
They will stay strong until the frost’s icy fingers drag them down to rejoin the earth and sleep.
Summer’ song birds have long since flown away, and in their absence
All I hear are the crickets and the crows.
Autumn evenings are chilly and quiet, the silence broken by the occasional lonely bark of a fox and the haunting calls of the owls.
Heavy wind chimes hanging in my forest have been silent all summer but
Now sing with the strength of autumn winds while thistle down floats by in layers of life to be.
This season between the seasons is one of slow change but with an inevitable end.
There is no turning back, no chance to stay and nowhere else to go.
But in spite of this certainty, there is no turmoil, no angst or resistance among the trees and flowers for they know
This is how it should be, how it must be,
How it has always been.
One season losing its grip and
Sliding gently into the next.
There is magic in this night.
Brilliance in its darkness and darkness in its light.
Tonight, my soul is deep in the arms of midnight,
Too deep to see,
Too blind to know,
Its cries too silent to be heard.
I am astounded by the simplicity of this midnight,
But also shocked by its truth.
Too much time has passed with too little thought and
Now… what of now?
It is gone.
Forever to remain,
| Coastal dunes slide and slip into the sea
As the storm rolls on to the north.
Gulls scurry to grab unfortunate crabs washed ashore by the crashing waves.
Seaweed floats and ripples with the waves like grass in the wind and
Salty sea spray coats the disinterested windows of empty houses on the shore.
The tourists have all left for the season
Leaving the ocean and beach to carry on with their lover’s dance,
Un-witnessed and unashamed, with freedom and reckless abandon.
|Evening shadows shift
Through broken windows.
Chimney bricks slide down the roof
Puddleing under the lilac bush.
Weeds spread into the driveway
Reclaiming it for themselves.
When was this house built?
Was it ever new?
The yard and doorframes bear witness
To the families who grew here.
Long forgotten toys and broken swings
Hide beneath the matted field grass.
A broken clothesline flaps in the gray autumn breeze and
Sprung clothespins mold and rot into the ground beneath the broken posts.
Feral cats are now the only life that calls this old farm home,
But birdsong still fills the rafters of the barn.
The barn that once held livestock
Sits shifted on its foundation,
Listing and leaning to the south,
Away from winter’s fierce winds.
The stately oak gracing the front yard is rotten and broken,
Its fingers through the house roof.
Where did they go, the people
Who called this place home?
When the last one left,
Why didn’t they clean out the house?
Why not take the toys?
Close the windows? Lock the doors?
Did they not know they were
Never coming back?
The windmill out back has long ago
Crashed into the apple orchard,
Breaking in to pieces as it fell
and crushing the trees it had stood watch over all these years.
But in man’s absence
The apple trees continue to produce.
The lilac bushes flower every spring in spite of
Not being “cared for” in over 40 years.
The forest is slowing creeping back in to fill the void
Left when the field was abandoned.
All that remains of the people who once called this spot of land home
Is the family graveyard,
Where stones are carved with love and care,
Preserving for all time the names and dates of those whose lives began and ended here.
But the lilacs don’t care about being preserved,
The Oak is beyond pride and the buildings are slowly returning to the soil,
Just like the bodies beneath the stones.
Another 40 years and the stones will be all that remains.
They will be all that is left to tell the story
Of a time gone by.
The story of a house built to last a lifetime, a barn crafted with pride,
The story of generations of a family who lived, worked and died on this land.
A story only the stones will remember.
It is almost gone now,
Only the hard and tough oaks
Remain to carry the song.
They sway less and less as
There is not much left to catch the wind.
But the wind still blows, it comes in waves and churns the ocean of trees.
One tree after another reacts to the wind’s hand, its push, its power.
Some bed in a flurry of dancing of limbs,
Some hold their ground, refusing to bend to the will of the wind.
The wildness of the wind comes in stages,
Craziest at the tree tops,
More subtle midway down with only a modicum of movement
Just feet above the ground.
I’ve often wondered if their roots feel the pull and tug of the wind.
Are they dying to let go of the earth and fly away?
And when the leaves have all fallen, the wind’s song fades completely,
Losing its soft voice.
The summer’s soft song is replaced by the harsh clacking of naked branches and
The howling of frozen limbs in the dead of winter’s endless nights.
I hate to see the leaf song go,
I will miss is warmth and rustling.
But I will hold its song within,
Deep within, and sing it to myself in the dark time to come
When all in solemn stillness sleeps.
The color outside my bedroom window is gone.
Yet evergreens stay to remind me of life’s continuance, always existing just below the surface.
The trees are stark silhouettes of gray,
Each branch and twig evident and asleep.
There is a new silence in the wood.
It is a soft, comforting, sleeping silence.
A hush of reverence,
A soothing of soul.
Awareness hangs liked smoke among
The naked branches.
It is an awareness of belonging, of no doubts,
Of confidence in the being and faith in the belonging.
And so they stand, the trees, in winter’s silence,
In perfect harmony with their place and mine.
Each a witness to the other and
Both a witness to the One.
Bright blue sky holds the
Silver gray smoke from the chimney.
Golden leaves fall in
Showers from the trees and
Dry brown leaves dance with each other in circles
On faded green grass.
I sit here alone, watching, smelling, seeing and smiling.
A gray squirrel chatters at me from the edge of the forest, what is he saying?
The day is getting late and my house now sits in the shadows.
With the sun in my face, I can barely make it out.
It’s as if it has blended back into the woods
From which it was made.
All that remains is the red chimney, the silver smoke
And the chatterind squirrel.
My place in all of this is erased, and unneeded, it will all carry on without me.
The petunias continue to climb over the iron rooster’s back in defiance of my will,
Or what they perceive to be my will.
I think I’ll go inside now and make more silver smoke.