Monday, September 30, 2013

in the yellowing

The first yellow leaves separate
from their tree-bodies
dry and light like sloffed skin
lifting off into blue space
one by one, elliptical
confetti in a continual float
at the end of the parade,
spinning across the barn’s
coffinal roof where walnuts thunk
like falling teeth, spiraling
around empty sunflower heads
lolling against shoulderless stalks,
or circling round and round nothing
like ashes—nothing that looks like
something, for the wind—
until after almost all down
hovering above the grassy ground
they bump against yellowjackets—
madly drunken satellites droning
in a shapeless galaxy around soft pears,
already languishing in ferment under them
at the end or may I rather say
at the beginning of their slow mellowing ride


  1. "walnuts thunk / like falling teeth": wonderful visual and sound image.

    1. Thanks, Maureen. It's a good season for listening, isn't it?

  2. i rode that leaf and saw its trajectory as if it were my own. you have captured the 'waningness' (is that a word?:) of this season, this delicious and inevitable tilting of earth.

    1. Thanks, Amanda. Since this is a page for poems, I think you can make any word you want. (I don't think "coffinal" is a word, for instance, except here.)

  3. What a beautiful autumn poem... invigorating. For me this season has been a time of shedding unwanted things. :)

    1. Thank you very much, Jade. It is a good time to shed unwanted things. My friend Inge spends Thanksgiving weekend purging closets. :)

  4. I love the visual and the language in this ("sloffed", "coffinal" that thunk, the pun of ferment) and the beginning in the ending as the end is a beginning. The poem swirls just like those yellow leaves...I am listening now to crickets. This season has its own peace.
    Thank you.

    1. Thank you, kind DS. James and I were mesmerized by these yellow leaves, and by the yellowjackets (at a distance), and by the wind. He did not stay up late enough to hear the crickets with me. :)

    2. Oh, I am delighted that you were able to share this experience with James! How different he must be, no longer a "baby." Yes good to keep those yellowjackets at a distance ; )

  5. Knowing James saw it with you is now the icing on the cake. Thanks for adding that!

  6. Yes, this circles and spirals, as Ds says, with great energy and inventiveness. Beautiful!

  7. I love the elliptical confetti to describe the leaves as they fall. That james gets to experience his first aware fall with you- magical!


All responses are welcome.