| General Poetry
posted October 18, 2017
Ode to Autumn
Today, an October morning breaks upon us
In a wavering light; crystalline air, a restless wind;
Light illuminating every maple, every poplar, each birch and oak
That lived and grew and tangled in the woods
Through these moments of struggle and aspiration
Passing before our eyes like ghosts of the days we walked among them.
This air that tastes like biting into an apple,
This fresh, crisp taste of life
We picked and enjoyed until the boughs were picked clean,
And wind that speaks to us of a time we are leaving behind,
As we fly into the futures of our lives.
It is that time of year again, when the living green fades,
That rich, verdant, living film of life,
This patchwork quilt of glittering moments
Which lent itself to our passions and our plays
Wears thinner and thinner, then disappears
Like breath that hangs for an instant in the crystal air
Before becoming nothing in our eyes,
And the leaves, in their scarlet and gold dresses,
Dance one last dance to the wind's music,
Remembering all those dances in the rain and sunlight
Before letting go of them, and giving themselves up
To the cold ground, and the frost;
Fading into the pale hopes of the spring to come.
I listen to that wind, now, in the forest's restlessness,
Watching those brilliant memories of time
Falling away, leaf by splendored leaf,
Wondering what hold me to it,
Where the mind and body, lost in a moment's quickness,
Continue on with it
Into the eternity of generations and seasons and stars.
Is this the hand that holds mine,
The hand of that spirit, more beautiful than light,
And yet more fragile, paper thin,
Passing as a rainstorm through the autumn hills,
As an hour of daylight, a drop of water
Lost in the silver moments of the running stream?
Even as we reach out to grasp it,
The light wanes into long shadows across the stubble fields,
The last leaves slip away on the wind, and are gone,
And we hear the last goose flying under the cold, white moon.
Autumn for me, is my favorite time of year. There is something about the crisp, refreshing air, the colors of the leaves, the restlessness of the wind, and the fading light, that speaks of the poignancy, the ephemeral nature, of the moments of the year, the transitory, fragile nature of life, and the passing of time. All these elements I tried to weave together into this Ode to Autumn. The style and musical elements were inspired by Samuel Coleridge's beautiful romantic poem, Frost At Midnight. The image at the end, of the cold, white moon, speaks of the onset of winter, and the coming snows, that follow fall. So there is a sense of the fluid passing of time here, of leaving behind the precious moment of a year to memory, and looking forward to what life brings next. estory
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