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.
Tis the rose that wants to live
That rails against the frost,
Tightly closed, the petals warm
The autumn heart that summer lost.
The dew that drips from rose to leaf
Like tears from cheek to breast,
Once was cold, now shimmers warm
To earn, at last, its' rest.
The blackened bud, once struck with cold
Appears to others dead,
But burns within, a passionate soul,
And heart of bright and crimson red.
And bursting forth it cannot hide
The will to live within,
Its' bold and subtle softness tells
Persistent hearts can win.
Apples ripen pink, hotly blushing,
though the ardent yellow sun grows faint;
blackbirds sucking soft honeyed sweetness.
like babies at breast, show no restraint.
Mellow ripeness splays rich-toned color;
the trees raise scarlet armed applause.
Red-brown and gray, small creatures hurry
stowing provisions for winter's pause.
September 1, 2014
Splendor of Autumn in its glorious bloom
Bestowing us with nature's gifts precious
Fragrant orchards with their ripened looms
Tempting aroma of the fruits luscious.
To the Autumn born, the season appeals
As I inhale lungfuls of the festive air
Drum beats reverberate, child's gleeful squeals
We celebrate Autumn with unique flair!
Auburn hues of the flora flourishing
Trekking dry hilly trails with impish pride
Vibrant beauty of fauna simply ravishing
Toddler enjoying his piggy back ride!
Armed with dry sticks tiny hands fiddle
To catch the colorful flipping butterflies
Beneath pattering feet crispy leaves crinkle
The sail-boat clouds drifting through blue-glass skies.
On a pond blossoming with lilies and lotuses
They empty their left-over dewy wet delights
Nature basks in sunlight's golden caresses
The whole cosmos soaks in wonderful sounds and sights!
Elegant Goldie and handsome Leaf Red
Brushed one another, thus happened to meet
mid-air, where Goldie by Red then was led
In one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three beat.
Gliding and twirling, they waltzed all around,
Up the hill, down the hill, over a stream.
Sliding but never quite touching the ground,
Like Fred with his Ginger, they danced like a dream.
Goldie was glowing with sun’s going down.
Red seemed like crimson against twilight sky.
Rustling his suit while she whirled in her gown,
They glittered while wafting first low and then high.
Nature was humming the Falling Leaves song;
Chill autumn breezes kept urging them on.
Fluttering fluttering all the night long,
With hoot owls hoo-hooing, they danced until dawn.
Suddenly, all became still in day’s light.
The couple was parted, for wind ceased to blow.
There came drifting down something moist and white.
Farewell, pretty leaves. Now is Dance of the Snow.
For Francine Roberts' Nature Story Contest
Colorful symphonies sound
As red and gold bells fall down,
Shook loose by crisp cool air,
Tinkling their way to the ground.
Displayed on the limbs of trees
Are rich orange marmalade leaves,
Visions of autumn’s dessert
Tasting sweetly upon the breeze.
Autumn brews warm concoctions
With auras of perfection
And richly spiced aromas,
Which soothe our frayed emotions.
Fall’s festive nature brings out
A spirited dancing shout
And lovely celebrations
With beauty bursting about.
For: Autumn's Beauty Contest
We waved goodbye to the summer skies
As we walked below the last canopies of green
Our memories in awe at mother natures blooms
Appreciative as we witnessed her scene
Fading colourful spectrum's shared many a bed
Butterflies and insects buzz out another year
Yesterdays scents captured in our minds
Her beauty simply amazes, even brings a few tears
The winds through the trees whistle mournful tunes
Whilst the weakened leaves start their spiralling fall
We walk as they drift on the Autumn breeze
To watch their demise leaves an eerie enthral
The evening descends absorbing the light of the day
Giant cathedrals of brown change to an ebony black
Invisible sounds resonate amongst shadows of dark
This seasonal change shows no lack
Hand in hand we have walked through this beautiful park
Stopping and staring at the most beautiful of views
We head back home contemplating tomorrows writes
My girl and I sharing natures inspirational muse
As I headed down that highway, running from my dreams
Wondering why I never stopped to take the chance
Living on the edge keeps you moving constantly
But there comes a time you have to learn to dance.
Life is what you make it, so give it all you got
Go out and have some fun and raise some hell
Tomorrow will become yesterday and not return again
You can't win the race by standing at the well.
Looking back at all the times I've tried and always seemed to fail
Wondering why God ever put me on this earth
Then realizing the challenges always made me stronger
And I've been given a whole lot more than I was worth.
Now in the Autumn of my years, thinking back to days of glory
I stop and say a silent prayer
I've been to the mountains and valleys, oceans and plains
When I needed You, Lord, You were always there.
Pick those crisp, red McIntoshs,
And warm some caramel for dippin',
Pick those green Granny Smiths,
And heat some cider for sippin'.
It's time for apple pickin',
Down on the rural farm,
And Halloween treat or trickin',
With some rustic country charm.
From the beginning of September,
To the last day of November,
We will be gone apple pickin',
Makin' fun moments to remember.
Pick those crisp, red McIntoshs,
And warm some caramel for dippin',
Pick those green Granny Smiths,
And heat some cider for sippin'.
None of you will be sobbin',
Cause right before your eyes,
There's a game of apple bobbin',
And some homemade apple pies.
Written for Isaiah Zerbst's contest -
"Apple Pickin' Time"
An old board and a rope had made me a swing,
Sitting there when I was around the age of nine,
I curiously looked up to see the first sign of spring,
Where a robin was building a nest of twigs entwined.
Summer's heat burned my shoulders, so I sought shade,
I climbed up into your strong arms at the age of fourteen,
Along with a book, I relaxed in a solitude no one could invade,
I found myself lost within the pages and the leaves of green.
On a lazy, autumn afternoon, at the age of twenty-three,
I raked the dead leaves that buried my feet into a pile,
Through the orange limbs my black cat peered down at me,
Then leapt from the tree to play among the leaves for awhile.
Now, as I am rapidly approaching the age of thirty-one,
Branches are encased in ice, as winter continues to unfold,
From my window, I see the cardinals and the disappearing sun,
Reminding me that life still survives in the bitter cold.
March, 7th, 2014
Gail Angel Doyle's contest - "Memories On Branches"
The autumn of life comes upon sinner, saint or sage
Holding the soul in withering body’s bondage
The birds of beauty, charm and vigor long flown
What a profound calamity is man’s old age
Autumn of our Years
The black clouds race like a murder of crows
No space between their wings
What’s in store no one knows
We will have to take what life brings.
Leaves fly past at racing pace
The rain slashes down like stair-rods
Summer's gone it never showed it's face
Autumn knock, trees bow their heads and nod
Another season over a new one to begin
What will autumn bring when the harvest is in.
From time immemorial to a time whenever
Each season follows the last, the circle will end never.
To take joy from each season, can be hard to do
As we grow with each one, our circle rolls too
“In the autumn of our years” never let anyone say that to me
I’m spending my circles in the summer now and for all eternity…
© ~GG~ 10/09/2012
In the Autumn of my years
reflection rules my day
winding paths of memories
with stops along the way
Pausing at the forks again
examining the choice
Changes I would surely make
and even raise my voice
Funny how we clearly see
when looking from behind
It all seems so predictable
yes each and every time
What will Winter years be like
when looking back again?
I Hope that I can leave in peace
surrounded by my friends
Autumn is my favorite season,
The green leaves are turning red,
Falling with no rhyme or reason,
They are crisp, gnarled, and dead.
Lightly they fall in the chilly air,
The leaves are brown, orange, and yellow,
Brightly, they tumble without a care,
Indian summer days are beginning to mellow.
Gray clouds form, you rarely see the sun,
Through tree branches, see the cold wind blow,
The leaves come cascading down, one by one,
And, at any minute now, it could start to snow.
It’s near, it’s here you can feel and smell it too
Autumn has blown in; the air is worn out, not new
The decaying of the leaves fills the autumn breeze
Blowing free and fast it brings in the autumn sneeze…
Flu season has arrived with the decay filled autumn air
It’s not right we didn’t get a summer, it really isn’t fair
All the seasons strike a fear in someway for all of us
Winter snows, the north wind blows and makes you want to cuss…
Spring brings with it hay-fever, another sneezing season
Summer gives us sunburn, but we risk that for a reason
We all need the sun we bathe and wallow and breathe it in
But when the autumn reaches us, it really is a sin...
Dark nights swoop on down, just like a Halloween ghost
Winds batter us all inland and not only on the coast
Rain is ever constant, breeding fresh new bugs for flu
So autumn air is for the flu-jab, it’s now time for that to renew.
Contest entry for “Up In the Autumn Air”
Who waves the flaming brand? I really think I know.
Arrayed with fiery arms, He puts on quite a show.
The artist of autumn, in a dazzling display
Of sweet gums, and red maples—takes our breath away.
Summer fades to fall, trees give up their green,
Transformed by master design, red, yellow, serene.
Peacocks fluff their feathers; mocking birds busily sing,
Formidable autumn is a daunting thing.
Chlorophyll gives way to radient carotene hues,
Bright with fall wardrobe, wearing color clues.
Clap your hands O beauty, sing into the wind.
Share boundless blessings, blushed in scarlet blend.
Heaven shouts approval; people show amaze,
At your brilliant garments, displaying coats ablaze.
Leaves parade golden in fall’s nippy breeze.
We are highly joyful—God does things like these!
To sprout from your creator
To be nurtured and fed
Surrounded by your family
Only love ahead
Days pass by
The love survives
As time runs out
You try to hang on
Your family smiles
Tells you to come along
As you fall to the earth
With the wind on your back
No longer afraid
Love always intact
When you return to the earth
There is no more grief
One more season
In the life of a leaf
I stand here and watch the changing of seasons,
a summer of winters, an autumn of springs,
I stand here in thought, not knowing the reasons,
to the meaning of life, how the caged bird still sings.
I stand here and watch as the years pass me by,
regrets of my past, what my life might have been,
I stand here and muse over one butterfly,
freed from the prison it had put itself in.
I stand here and watch as the dark turns to day,
the first glimpse of sunrise, a shimmer of light,
I stand here and wonder where clouds go to play
would they take me with them when day turns to night?
I stand here on guard while my inner self dreams,
of a world free of hurting, a life blank of stain,
I stand here and listen while my inner self screams,
with fear in his eyes and a soul filled with pain.
I stand here alone, memories by my side,
a flood of emotions, bittersweet in my mind,
I stand here unknown with the tears I have cried,
searching for answers in a world where I'm blind.
Shapely to coarse green stem,
sitting alone; wanting to grin.
Patiently waiting for the take,
wanting Halloween to begin.
A few more weeks left to grow,
inviting; nestled in straw.
Children soon make their choice,
with little eyes in awe.
Fields abundant in orange hue,
serenading a season of rest.
Large or small or fat or thin,
any grab will be the best.
Cold winds blow just enough
to take its nipping bite.
Scarves and hoods, snuggly warm,
fending autumn with wraps pulled tight.
Little arms try to carry
the most perfect pumpkin around.
The patch now shrinks very thin,
remnants of a once lush ground.
Copyright © 2009 By Caryl S. Muzzey
Winter paints with snowflakes white
Spring adds a touch of green
Summer takes butterflies in flight
And Autumn is a beauty to be seen
Alone I sit in a dreamy state
Remembering last night whilst I contemplate
We sat down to dinner looking out across the bay
Playing footsie under the table in loving display
Scented candles wafted their presence aired
Street orbs left us shadowed at the table we shared
The evening breeze on this Autumn day past
Whimpers as it settles, stillness at last
We arise, we walk along historic harbour walls
Amidst golden gowns, only leaves are now in fall
Waves lap the shores whilst birds voice overhead
Blending into the darkness as we wonder what's being said
Every so often we would stop to share a kiss
Knowing we have our tomorrow's fills me with bliss
Remembering last night whilst I contemplate
Alone I sit in a dreamy state
Dry leaves rustle with each step
Noisy autumn here beneath my feet
My golden wood a wondrous place
Woodpecker's song repeat, repeat...
The stag his antlered crown parades
While gleaning in the harvest fields
The pheasant cock calls his mate
Such small wonders this autumn yields...
The fire draws me to sit awhile
And ponder the passing of the year
How quickly it is autumn's time again
Time to remember and hold it dear
On a day filled with autumn sunshine
With colours so vividly displayed
Painting a rich picture in texture and colour
Stately pines, towering cliffs, a palisade
Mother Nature's proudest achievements
Unmatched by any of man's canvas
Colours so rich, with so varied a palette
A picture of serenity so infectious
Absolute beauty that lasts only a short while
But returns same time every year
This ravishing beauty, nature's crowning glory
The sight can bring one to tears
People have called it autumn's magic
That time of the year when we gasp
At the vistas of our glorious surroundings
I will revel in it's splendour to the last
© Jack Ellison 2013
The leaves were golden...brown and brittle
Rustling as the autumn breeze blew
Do I miss it, yes, a little
As my fondness, it there grew
The suns warm rays glanced off the water
Of the pond at the foot of the hill
Each summers day grew hotter
Yes...I miss it still
The Love that filled the Sunday air
Simple, heartfelt and true
A Grandmother's Love, something so rare
And time...it but flew
The visits these days, too short I'm afraid
I can never recapture childhood innocence
But the memories I carry will never fade
No matter the moment, the motive, or absence
One day my spirit, it will return
And I will never leave there again
It is where I will one day adjourn
Forever and ever...Amen
© 2011 Kevin Stock
You are the air that I breathe
The sunshine on my cheek
But a shadow of a dream
Mi belle magnifique
WHEN DOES WINTER START IN RUSSIA ?
The omnipotent season? - Whenever it wants to !
Today October field was first-snow flaked.
First of a horde. This is not a peaceful coup
When autumn begins politely by contract.
Last week I saw leaves burning gold,
But their cold heat was an illusion,
No warm defence ‘gainst the winter cold.
Theirs was no flame of conflagration.
It was a mere seeming fire-moat
But cold fire, not burning - just the yellow
Of coward leaves turning coat
At the hint of the white army certain to follow.
For the sunshine has almost surrendered.
His morning face struggled over the low roof,
It hesitated all the short day and decided
to depart early, defeated - proof
That winter starts whenever it has a notion.
This first flake was a trumpet announcing
The immense white horde’s cold intention
Of riding roughshod and merciless over everything,
And stating that nothing will stop it.
Not seeming flames from leaf,
Not equinoctal dates. Nothing. You must submit
To the assault - and just hope for relief.
( 12 th October 2010 )
In spring began the resurrection of
My faith and body, psyche, and my mind;
Again from God above I had found love--
I never dreamed that life could be so kind.
The summer was my adolescent time
When I discovered lust for someone else.
It was quite innocent and so sublime
Yet much of it was guided by impulse...
When autumn came, my years were waning then;
I knew my time on earth would be cut short.
I realized that I would die, but when?
Would I face God in His judicial court?
In winter they lay me in my own tomb;
Unpleasantness had taken its harsh toll.
My soul returned within its doom and gloom;
I needed once again to be made whole.
As the days grow shorter I feel discontent,
I look at summer and wonder where it went.
I remember in the recent past when days were long,
Only to realize the summer is now gone.
I still enjoy autumn with its chill in the air,
The skies are still blue and the weather quite fair.
Soon so many colors will be displayed in the trees,
I’m not quite ready for the impending winters freeze.
As I get older I see time does fly,
I watch as the trees start to die.
They explode in color in one last stance,
Seeming to invite me for one last dance.
Another summer’s gone the air start to chill,
I view all the beauty from on top of this hill.
I watch and listen but it all seems strange,
Summer becomes autumn Is this new change.
I remember this summer with days that don’t end,
All that I’ve met become those I befriend.
I’m not really sad but wish for more time,
But I can’t help but see the clock just unwind.
The world keeps spinning as this season shall come.
Still time is left for me to stand in the sun.
I’m thankful to greet just one more day,
I still hoped that summer wouldn’t be on its way.
As the chill grows I will wrap my coat around you.
Together we shall cherish all we’ve been through.
I remember hope and how it helps me survive,
I want this one day and feel so alive.
The weatherman is predicting rainbows
As this early autumn storm passes by
A few more weeks to enjoy the warmth
Before southward the geese start to fly...
I savor his words this fall evening
As I watch the pink clouds in the sky
The world could use a bit of soft color
Knowing soon the last faded rose will die....
The night descends with a button down moon
against a powder blue comforter sky,
fluffed and puffed with the down of seed
cat and nine tails bursting with pride.
The mothers have called the dinnertime
and the scent of soups on the wind,
sneakers are stacked by the backdoor,
the dog knows, it time to come in.
The table once set is abandoned
for the trays by the big screen TV,
and autumn gourds and chrysanthemums
abandoned on the tables display.
Soon, silhouettes form on the den walls
and children are hurried to bed,
with the call of a wild coyote they run
diving beneath their bedspreads.
All the human light dims, as they hideout
and starlight covers their ceiling,
Mom has places plastic stars of Venus and Mars
to usher in dreams, as they’re drifting.
Oh, the night with its warmth will not last
and soon the chill dawn will arrive
with the call of a neighborhood rooster,
ah, the country’s the place to be alive!