An ancient river, centuries-old shops and restaurants steeped in a 2000-year history and
culture set the scene. The ambiance seemed divinely contrived to facilitate the purposes of
our meeting and the very fodder from which the greatest poets are sustained.
Not newcomers to the area, Kay P. and I were assigned to the Army Security Agency Field
Station in Augsburg, Germany in 1974. We were colleagues in the intelligence community
with no romantic overtures to our relationship, save an appreciation of poetry and profound
philosophical discussions. Kay wanted to spend the evening with a poet, so we planned the
evening to be appropriate for the purpose.
At the time and place, we quickly found ourselves hopelessly immersed in the philosophical
foundations of my writings throughout the evening. It was the first time since Vietnam that
I'd felt worthy as a person. I still recall sipping the red wine and feeling the warmth of the
large hearth inside the Balkan eatery. I still see the swans gliding by on the Lech flowing by
When windowpanes begin to weep with autumn's chilly dew,
I'm taken back through seasons passed to one delight held true,
A rendezvous that time allowed, a gentle evening spent
Amid a time of long discord when days were dreary bent.
I feel the stretch upon my lips, the smile returns once more.
Again, I smell the Balkan fare prepared on Lech's old shore,
The mood is cast in high regard, the wine is tart and dry,
As Augsburg ripples in the wake when swans go gliding by.
The ancient windows frame our view and day begins to wane
As rivulets meander down and streak the dampened panes.
The ambiance of ages passed beseeched us not to leave
And held us in its warm embrace throughout the ebbing eve.
My heart was scarred, without regard and hardened by the war
But her esteem unveiled its worth, while nothing had before.
She saw the child that once was me, I'd long since cast aside,
And bade he climb astride his mount, engage his life and ride.
Now, she is but a memory, whose kindness soothed my heart,
For we embarked upon our lives on paths ordained to part.
Her subtle way escaped my eye till time had made it clear
That her esteem had set me free, that night I hold so dear.
The poetry that filled my soul remains these many years,
Impassioned in my warmest thoughts when autumn first appears,
When windowpanes begin to weep, a-glisten with the dew,
And I return to seasons passed, to one delight held true.
Sometimes between the lines,
trembles the silence of unspoken goodbyes,
expectant and charged, like a theater scene,
in the moments before the curtain rises.
In a dream that I've had,
you are southward bound, so it must be early autumn,
which, fades to sheer, then disappears.....
Debris fills the gutters, and the shades are drawn
Wild thorn-berries have been picked, all the branches are bare.
And through limbs of old questions, and tall, knotted trees,
Limbs filter regret with a light, between
Leaves are adrift, as if disturbed,
littering the speachless sky
along with unfettered words,
that clamor against the leadlight of a window,
pleading to be heard.
Crushed leaves are swept away,
by a bridled hesitation.
No summer aria has been sung,
and the words go unsaid.
Leaves fall straight to the ground,
and the light leaves the world.
The red velvet drape descends,
leaving unfettered leaves, and unsaid words, bereft, in the dark.
For The Contest "Vibrant Verse" Sponsored By Charlotte Puddifoot
Autumn leaves released against the cruelest winds
unmoored, without a distant shore to land
have no instruction, nor direction,
swept by the tides of winter seas
Surfing waves without an oar
curled tight against themselves
Fall winds spread them far,
until they sink
and must not curl
tight against myself
but be kin to nature...
soar the waves of winter seas
adrift in a sea of knowledge
following directions of my heart
unmoored, but with a distant shore to land
against the future of autumn's cruelest wind
9/12/14 For Shadow's Contest: Double Etheree
As the wind ripped the leaves from the trees
I thought of you
As I stood there like those trees
Stripped of all their glory
Their only crime
Giving birth to beauty
I watched them fall
All those brilliant leaves
And knew you could never stop
Poetry in motion.
THIS POEM IS NOT FOR ANY CONTEST
Written: September 14, 2014
Author: Elaine George
DECLARATIONS OF A SOCIAL SCIENTIST
Indeed, I am that Poet and know it.
Just in transition to a more enriched poetry form.
I want to talk about life, politics, and religion.
Maybe not simultaneously but how I am feeling today.
I tell you life isn't a bowl of cherries.
I am not harvesting berries.
I live a vivacious existence.
I nature walk and take beautiful pictures.
I thrive in my leisure time.
Even more so, I work until my mind unwinds.
I am just a thrill seeker but not an extremist.
I am an illustration of wellbeing.
In fact, I am striving for better physical dexterity.
In all, my body desires more agility.
To eradicate the clumsiness,
My ability to monitor my own quickness is propensity depleted.
My mind, body, and spirit have superseded.
Oh, I am told that it is all right to be big headed.
Of course, gloating is good for your inner being.
Dwindling is not something I will let occur.
I am the booster of morale.
Be assured that I am there for others who seek a physiological mental form.
Do I appear to be titivated?
I am what I have stated.
Doubtlessly, there will be jealousy.
Without doubt, they will envy me.
Undoubtedly, this will not hinder.
I have overcome obstacles since the being of my existence.
Liberated from birth via a nation of government, I am free.
I can wave my hand and be seen.
I can stand up for what is right.
I can ignite the political fire.
I can educate my mind to genius.
I can defeat enmity.
Negativity may come but I disallow it to be a formula.
I am abreast.
Penned on October 31, 2014!
The sun had a way, of lighting the fires
that would often die, and turn to ash, and dash our hope
The wind had a way, to spread the flame,
to light the way
or die in vain
Sun-ripe gold and red leaves
have lined each trail and every road with heavy brilliance
Our eyes, perhaps unwise, were often blinded by the glare
But embers, frozen there, remained alive
Approaching autumn, there is new fire
Ripe with the sun, we have been shaped and formed
grieving over postscripts, of a faded summer sky
while the outstretched arm of autumn
reaches through the trees---
Her leaf-fluttered hand opens fingers wide
brushing passed branch silhouettes, to look into the sky
and has tossed the evening embers
to light our way
For Gail's Contest: Where Frozen Embers Still Burn 8/27/14
Quote 2: "Observe the wonders as they occur around you.
Don't claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent. ~Rumi
Old pages torn from ancient trees
with sage remarks upon the breeze
break silence, one by one
Catch them, hold them, before they flee
and listen to the past, unseen
for strong roots to lean on
For Nette's Contest: Rimee couee:
By Carrie Richards 4/20/12
. ‘Violin’ was written on a soft dark velvet night,
As I drifted - in the dreams - of the flickering - candle light;
Ne’er pre-planned - nor pondered - nor was she - pre-conceived,
She came from deep within me, appearing on the screen,
As did my favorite poem - my darling ‘Cannon Lee’.
‘The Love of a Gentlemen’ - and ‘Where the Heart Resides,’
Came from treasured memories - I tried to keep alive;
With words - chosen carefully - to create solidity,
I brought them back to life - to live eternally,
In vivid hues - more beautiful - than all the autumn leaves.
Others - fell like drops of dew - from flying fingertips,
That raced across the keyboard - in hopes they wouldn’t miss,
The chance to share the beauty - my eyes now fell upon,
Through the kitchen window - across the river - and beyond,
Where fields of liquid diamonds - glistened in the early dawn.
Others came in metaphors - disguising secrets held;
To painful in reality - for me to ever tell.
‘The Rose and the Thorn’ - poured herself upon the page,
A sonnet of over-whelming grief - rising up from hidden rage,
Releasing me forever - from my gilded cage.
These poems I write - come day come night,
Come candle or come neon light,
Come wind, come rain, come joy, come pain,
They are the life - the Great Creator - breathed in me;
They are my breath!
They are my poetry!
Author: Elaine George
Written: January 13th, 2010
Inspired by: Deborah Guzzi's contest 'How Do You do It - How do you write your poems'?
Authors Note: This poem was written on route to Bath, North Carolina via Ferry
crossing. It was written on a note-pad from the' Hampton Inn' and transferred
to my lap-top after returning to Swansborro.
I never knew I'd be in heaven
In the autumn of my years,
Or that I'd be immerged
In the brilliant art of words,
Or float above operatic notes,
Or view ballet through
My elated tears.
I never thought I'd meet
Inspiration face to face,
Or feel it rise within me
With a poet's surrendering grace.
I just know that I'm contented
As profound love keeps flowing
From my impassioned heart.
This is the gift that artists
Of this world yearn to impart.
© Connie Marcum Wong
Wind so cold.
Fondles my face.
The tears from heaven.
I wonder if i wish
to stop them
The little voice in me says,
Wait, don't go.
Stay a little longer. I plead.
Sing for me today, rain.
With the gliding rhythm on my piano,
Chilly Wind, caress my bare skin
with the pure coldness that you bring.
like it's my first time in the snow.
the fire tree never fades in the picture.
The yellow sunkissed leaves, too.
What is it about Summer and Fall
that I can't forget?
Memories. Sweet imaginations.
The chilly rain. The misty wind.
You are here.
Freeze me with the sharp coldness you give.
Calm me. Maybe, comfort me.
And, if you leave
Will you visit me when summertime comes?
Before it gets too late
And again I fold.
“Look up,” she cried,
And the rains came swiftly,
Overwhelming her youth
With migrant purpose.
Interrupted her sound-scape,
Giving her pause.
“Look around,” she said,
And autumn bowed to her,
A colorful character
In shades of golden afternoons.
She found solace and comfort
Through the grace of experience.
“Look up,” she laughed,
And silver dusted her hair,
Weighing the diversity
She wore as a crown.
Became her teacher,
Yet unforgiving presence.
“Look around,” she said,
And spread her arms wide,
Dancing in the perspective
This life is transitory,
By the seasoning
Of one’s attitude.
When I awoke
from that place once dreamed
when I was seventeen,
and looked around
and saw how swiftly autumn came
with falling years, ….
I have no tears
yet, still, I get,
a few small pangs,
A tinge of blue, a bit askew, construed regrets
So futile yet…they linger near...
My eyes were wide, with expectation,
when youth was mine,
So little did I know
what line or direction I would go
The plans and dreams and schemes I chose....
I would touch and teach and rush to change
And make an impact in the chain...
My offerings would change the world...
I would be heard, leave a mark, light a spark
A legacy would be my life….
No matter pain, or consequence, or sacrifice
Instead of course, I stayed, on course…like others do
My dream turned into sanity…
Those youthful schemes had sincerity,
I see them now with clarity
What I've learned since then, makes sense to me
Some things are simply meant to be
Those dreams became a family…
My offerings have changed the world, in grander ways
I do believe
My children came, first one, then two, then three
I never dreamed of dreams so full
Three supreme adults, are the result
How dreaming dreams, can still come true
and often is
in fact, the true, remarkable
Saint Blackheart walks the Autumn streets and smiles with diamond eyes;
She's well-aware of what you think, but listens to your lies.
Confess your deepest fantasies or never look her way --
She's free with random kindness, though she won't have much to say.
Saint Blackheart seeks the shadows for the secrets they impart.
Her life's a patchwork puzzle made with jagged shards of art --
Impressionistic paintings on a canvas dipped in red;
She dances like a demon for the angels in her head.
Saint Blackheart loves the twilight and the elemental rain;
She'll stand and watch you suffer, yet she senses all your pain.
A soft, Franciscan echo making up a primal scream
Can hurtle from her crimson lips and dart from dream to dream.
Saint Blackheart lives in solitude among the ancient trees --
You'll find her there within the mist, but never on her knees.
Her hands will offer nothing which is not her own to give;
And though you wish to die in peace, she may just let you live.
Saint Blackheart will not weep with you or wipe away your tears,
Yet she may catch their crystal hue and treasure it for years.
She'll lay a little flower on a long-forgotten grave --
A tribute to the tortured soul she never tried to save.
When autumn comes to drop it's leaves.
Unreconciled, the branches greive.
To enter winter's long goodbye.
Awaiting spring, again to sigh.
Amidst the heat of summer's sun.
The planted seed will soon be done.
Only the rain of heavens love.
Can help the plant rise up above.
The seasons we all have to live.
Are waisted if we don't forgive.
A heart that's full of pain and sorrow.
Requires hope to meet tomorrow.
When someone needs a helping hand.
It's nice when they can join the band.
To know that they can sing along.
To harmonize in life's long song.
My heart is the same full of love
My house that shelters it full of pain
But it's autumn in my life, Dove
The hair of gray and wrinkles reign
I set the table full of food
For the family to dine fun times
But it is autumn in my life
When changes prepare for winter
I'm not sure I'll know winter now
For I have not experienced it
But it's autumn in my life somehow
Where beauty glows bright from the depths
Producing leaves of many hues
Love the autumn of my life, Dove
Now all that's left winter's white snow
I think that when winter comes cold
Plants freeze if left out in weather
They will need a warmer place inside
But since it is just autumn now
There's time to prepare room somehow
I still watch the birds from window
They have not all gone away love
But it's autumn in my life now
Soon most will be gone for winter
Winter soon will approach with cold
Seemingly death of the roses
But it's autumn in my life my bold
There are few thoughts of approaching winter
But when winter comes my way
The body rest to rise another spring
Now it's autumn in my life this day
On another day I'll be called by trumpet away
I keep pecking at the tree of life
Only finding the bugs of strife.
No nourishment for my aching heart
No detailed map or starry chart.
Pieces of bark I chip away
Searching for the essence of yesterday.
Rings of wisdom in the tree
My eyes too blind to clearly see.
The autumn of my life is here
For spring and summer I shed a tear.
For if I knew what I know now
Would have done it different somehow.
Yet different choices would have led
To different sets of regret.
Better to stop pecking at the tree
Maybe it made, for a better me.
It's difficult to fabricate a verse
whose words convey like water in a stream,
but one should try, for there is nothing worse
than words that cannot flow nor form a theme.
I wish to write with words imbued with spring:
the kind that bloom within the reader's mind
and linger with the scent that season brings;
no better words than these can writers find.
Though, words of autumn also can console,
and so I'd like my words to warmly fall
as different colors toward a common goal;
and, like that season, may such words enthrall.
Upon my page I wish for words like oil:
acutely bold and never poor in point,
the kind that gurgle under ivory soil
and long to meet the eyes that they'll anoint.
Have not you ever yearned for words like song--
the sort of dialect that sings when said,
or maybe words whose voices carry strong
within the reader's mind and ring when read?
I want my words to thrive like fervent fire--
engulfing every eye that wanders near,
to dance with little match and never tire,
for words should last and never cease to sear.
It's also my desire to write like ice,
with words akin to water-- smooth yet sound,
the kind that naturally form and gleam concise
when brought to light where thirsty eyes are found.
But every word at least should taste like wine:
a flavor fermented and rightly earned--
the kind when sipped again, tastes more refined,
the kind that urges readers to return.
Immersed in the sound of the low rustling wind
Memories and places they haunt yet again
Passed by so quickly as each falling leaf
Drifting and flowing on an unyielding stream
A current to carry from birth right on through
Filling our moments with cares which ensue
A mind lost in remnants of lovers and friends
Babies and children and time long since spent
Familiar, intangible, just out of reach
Longing for ghosts that my heart doth beseech
Winter is looming and summer is past
A time for remembrance the years gone so fast
Beauty is captured in my last breath of life
The sparkling colors in the warm golden light
Do mimic the glory and wonder be told
In those bright days of autumn and a life to behold
The wind passed through the trees
A delicate touch
A delicate leaf,
fell on me
Crisp and tan,
down it fell...
You cannot change
A turning leaf
A falling leaf
A falling man
I held it in my hand
How this leaf could withstand
A Summers season
Now a dying Autumn,
in this changing land
The colour turned...
The leaves fell on me
A falling man,
in a changing Autumn land
A delicate touch
A delicate leaf
Could be crushed
Yet, with a soft blow
I let an Autumn leaf go
The leaves falling...
From an Autumn tree
Crisp and tan
A falling man
A falling leaf
A falling me
I will appear
Lush and green,
in a summer next year
A delicate leaf
you have seen
you have let it go
in a changing colourland so
Another year has gone, it just slipped away,
Without notice or warning or eulogies to say.
On purpose, I barely register its passing…only crack
A bitter smile;
A half-raised, quizzical eyebrow, maybe, laced with a brief
Sense of a long forgotten once close friend
Giving up the ghost.
From starved tree branches the leaves tumble down,
Sheets of rain guillotine on this dirty old town.
I watch the autumn gale axing…havoc from
The frozen North.
I'm digging graves for memories, perhaps, meticulously fast,
For they really need interment
As they are the living dead.
Funny, it's the first time ever, I realise I'm getting old,
The heart misses beats and the room feels always cold.
I see the lines etch on my face…gritted warp
Of aching bones.
And try as I might to shove longing and regret back into
Their woodworm coffins,
It does not keep the pain at bay
When the past craves resurrection.
Pride and prejudice has been ripped from me,
and my strength has abandoned me,
yet my will still crashes against the
My citadel a long forgotten fortitude
left to rot and decay.
As my soul seeks refuge in other hosts
to take and mingle while balancing
my mental ballast before it erupts.
With guilt peeking in on me
to remind me i'm still in debt.
While my Autumn years have yet to arrive,
I feel vandalized,sterilized,and alone.
The very root system of my essence
has retracted the twilight of my descent
is not as dark as one would imagine,and
yet I am still a minor in time and
I can not consent to my downfall.
P aranoia permeates, etching itself into your fractured face,
A cacophony of constant pressure; life remains a stressful race,
N othing to hope for, no positives like promotion in the workplace,
I nability to love, relationships lift anchor and set sail without chase,
C hildren crushing dreams under mortgages; age grows with disgrace
A photographer dreamed
Of a telephoto lens
Capturing light waves
From beginning to end.
Since time unleashed
When the Big Bang leaped
And particles began life’s history
In swirling clouds he wondered how
He might picture a piece of the mystery.
Through polished glass converging past
Planets, stars and seas
Of swirling waves that danced and swayed
No less than windswept trees.
As he focused his dream glass
Where present meets past
And depth of field is wide;
Where the image is clear and light streaks steer,
Far away from the photographer’s eye.
With shutter speed set like a fast speed jet
Blazing through the blue-white wispy above
Turning his wings on the bird that sings
And a girl who once stole his love.
Racing through time while continuing to climb
Higher through the prism of light
His finger feathers the button below
Capturing the moment in flight.
Lingering there in pure mid-air
Like a magic carpet in the wind;
Until jolted by the sun on its morning run
While still dreaming of that telephoto lens.
Maybe today, perhaps tomorrow,
He’ll capture the illusive the beast;
The athlete who strives for the best inside
Or the homeless sleeping in the streets.
He’ll stop small birds he’s seen and heard
With their colorful feathers, breast and crown;
And children playing in autumn leaves
Scattered on the ground.
Weddings and rings, flowers in spring,
Butterflies, wistful and bright;
Pollinating bees and hives in the trees
Or a harvest moon late at night.
Meadows and mountains, free flowing fountains
Ancient temples in faraway places;
Fireworks up high on the 4th of July
Olympics and fast car races.
But now fully awakened he knows he’s mistaken
About the focal length in his dream glass;
Lens lust is a photographer’s must
But this too, he knows, must pass.
Like water flowing in the river
And wind passing through thin air;
The world he sees through his own eyes
Is a wonder beyond compare.
Oh Autumn, how I love your days
Your brilliant multicolored sights
But, I'm sorry that I just can't say
The same thing about your nights.
For your cold damp autumn nights
Bring with them your autumn mists
And within your mists dwell sights
That I would just as soon resist.
Those Painful sights that stab the heart
From memories that wound the most
Sights that have torn my life apart...
Sights, that have long become ghosts.
Those long since banished ghosts
That dwell there within your mists
Those ghosts that boast the most
Of my bitter sentimental trysts.
Some ghosts have anguished eyes
Who in their sorrow point and glare
And others who just drift quietly by
Seem, as if they were impaired.
Still others clutch at barren breasts
While feeling some forgotten pain
Entombed within their misty nests
Waiting there, eternally in vain.
I do try hard to not look or stare
But sometimes I just can't resist
Those ghosts that dwell out there
Within your cold damp autumn mists.
Oh Autumn, how I love your days
Your warmth and brilliant sights
But Oh sweet Lord, to Thee I pray
Please save me from autumn nights!
Timothy I. Brumley
A thorough yield
On a farm field of far east
It took me time to realize
How far I am to my far east of coast
Call of my weather
Call of my winds
I sailed further and farther
To my naked coasts
Naive songs, Nimble rains
Nile of rivers, Nascent clouds
Reaching this far
I kissed my earth
Ground of my grief
Glory of my ghosts
Glad is those leaves
However scanty they are
Cast is my shadows
No longer they hide
My colors and my figures
They cast numbers on stars
Measure their light
Scope my winters
Scale my summers
Scanty my rains
Scuttle I wish my springs
Now let me see my greens
Their leveling heights
Their leafy gaze
Their spiderly gesture
Their primordial texture
Now let me be slow
In company of my greens
#Poem by +Gokul Alex
And the storm calls to me in ways you'll never understand
A gentle call that urges my soul forth
The lighting guiding a path for my feet to walk
Between the stones and ash of all that once was
I stand in the echoing silence of the rain
It drops down upon my skin like the blessing waters of heaven
Soothing me, lifting the weight from my body
I feel at once as if I am home
Standing amid two dimensions
Caught between two skies - here and there
The night wraping around me in warmth
The gentle wind lifting me off my feet
Drops from the clouded moon washing away my body
and I am left just a soul, an essence
The storm calls me forth from beneath my roof
Beckoning me into its depth
I stand among the reeds in the basin
They dance and sway as if welcoming me
And I sway with them back
Caught up in the power that charges the air
That threatens to sweep me away
If the ground will just loosen its hold
The thunder rumbles a low welcoming growl
And I get pleasently lost within it
I am so small compared to its vastness
I close my eyes and succumb to the skies wishes
Rising higher until my feet no longer touch the ground
My fingertips touch the liquid color of the stars
A sigh drifts from my lips
There is no need of thought to stay afloat
There is no demand to breathe in air
No crushing weight upon my chest
As my lungs struggle to survive
There are no struggles here
I make my bed on blackened clouds
And give in to the call
The storm has claimed me as its own
It was such a struggle to stay upon the ground
When the storm would call me home
As I lay one sullen autumn morn
on pearl dew turf with the day unborn
staring at the grey grimacing sky
with the mood and moment not quite high
sepulchral static wherever I looked
when my dreary dizzy gaze was hooked
at a lone leaf's death-descent down
to join its wilted kin on ground
then a sudden silent slithering breeze
deprived me of my warmth and ease
and the disturbed withered shroud of Fall
hustled revived in a rustling brawl
hurled and curled in the fading mist
till the whispering winds chose to desist
but Nature lies dead once again
until the wind resumes,retrieves restrain
and I know this flight of life is brief
for I'm none other than a fallen leaf.
I once was like a catipiller young,naive,and new
Always living from my heart not knowing what
else to do.Easy to take advantage of, that is
just the case, people would walk over me
like I was their dirty used up suitcase.
Now I feel a newness coming, like a light
shining from the sky, colors fill my world
and I know I am blooming into a butterfly.
Purple,Pink, Blue and Green I can feel them
flowing through. Colors of the rainbow raising
me into full bloom. Wise and strong I am becoming
My faith leads me where I need to go giving me
insight and wiseness for only me to know.
I have not done this on my own you see
I have been guided by God and Angels
on this Earth. Wise words the wisdom at
it's best comes from a wise lady who
seems to know me best. Lucky, I am
to have her in my life, she always shoots
it straight and tells me like it is, knowing
her words touch my heart and gives me tons of faith..
I feel like flying through the sky or climbing
a tree way up high. I feel like observing the
world just like a brand new butterfly so as I
Bloom I become Anew something unlike the past
Smart and wise beautiful on the inside and outside
a touch of color here a touch of color there
makes me glow and become a beautiful blooming butterfly...
Written By: Christina A McCullouch
clearest water flows gently
along and over my naked feet
the touch of its almost tacit sound
deafening beauty for a calming mind
thousands of tiny goosebumps
showing the numerous surprising shivers
trying to make sense
the softest sofa of fresh leaves and little twigs
spread a narcotic palette of autumn perfumes
coloring the signals of my soul
a generous friendly fire of chestnuts and acorns
compose a beat and feel of rhythm of the forests
tapping on my shoulder and head
changing every breath that I take
while softly knocking
at future’s door
If these eyes shall become blinded, and if this
hair shall come to be combed thinly and grey;
No, it would not be the end of the world.
I would still see beauty therein this world through
the songs of Crickets and Feathered Songsters.
The breeze would yet whisper and trees still dance.
I would yet smell the freshly bloom of Spring.
I'd still endure Summer's sweltering heat.
I'd yet feel Autumn's leaves crunch 'neath these toes.
I'd still long to be fireside with Winter.
Disabled or not, perhaps I'd yet walk
therein wonderful imagination.
How I'd be forever young at heart!
Then just as one journey came to an end,
I'd indeed greet another with a smile.