I walk through flames
of autumn’s sweet refrain-
That break beneath
a weight too much to bear-
Where I tread in solitude
and mourning there-
Along a path of maple trees
and scented air-
As I recall the life that
we once shared-
And in these twilight hours
I see the beauty of it all-
In every autumn leaf
That softly falls-
Author: Elaine George
Awarded : 1st place in - Brian Strand's contest - A Choice of Form
Let me sing this song
Dozens words in my yearning rhythm
Delivered within the wind of autumn
A single pray, only for you
In this moment of silence
Bearing clearly in my mind
The love we have given one another
In our years of sharing
You embraced me with endless love
A love that cannot be compared
And it lights my sky forever
Made me a woman I am
We are destined to have each other
Since my first breath, until your last
So I sing this song for you,
I first met Autumn when I was very, very young,
she was just a shy, quiet girl, but so very bright.
These maple trees were our favorite to play among,
as our laughter faded away with the falling sunlight.
I can still see her brown sweater, and reddish-orange hair,
blowing around her smiling face, like a flickering flame.
Her innocent voice still whispers on October's cool air,
near the place, where our lonely swing remains the same.
As the summer days said goodbye, and welcomed September,
the death of my dear, young friend came all too soon.
Autumn was one of those whom you'd always remember,
her soul was as beautiful as the shining, harvest moon.
She was here, then gone, leaving words that were never spoke,
to this day, I have never understood why Autumn had to leave.
Her presence lingers on the wind, like drifting wood-smoke,
as once a year, her playful spirit arises on All Hallow's Eve.
August, 4th, 2014
October held 10 family birthdays
all between 4 houses on Troy Street.
Each night after dinner we
set out on our walk for cake.
Aunt Lory’s house was rum
Aunt Josies, buttercream frosted white,
and Aunt Lu’s lemon, bright yellow, rich and moist
could made her St. Joseph’s statue drool.
We’d gather around the birthday boy perched on a chair,
while us cousins stood, shoulder to shoulder,
eagerly waiting for the last note of the song to be sung.
I stood eye level to the burning numbered candles,
mesmerized by their melting wax dripping
down the sides like sap from a tree.
Their light, drunk on sugar, danced wildly
across our hungry faces.
Then with one large blow the room went black.
In those few seconds Darkness, like eternity
steals all their faces from my sight.
The room frozen, suspended precariously between
feast and fear, grief and gratitude, love and loss.
Lights return to applause as the knife cuts deep into the center.
Wishes like prayers are sent rising as curls of smoke
through a chimney, up, up to places far away.
Paper plates of sugar splendor are passed down and devoured.
We didn’t realize then, just silly girls with frost covered lips,
how everything of importance in this world fit at the end of that fork.
With full bellies our good-byes are said on porch lite steps.
And the moon, like a lantern, radiant in the Autumn sky
illuminates our way home till our next walk,
Aunt Mary’s luscious chocolate layer cake.
In the corner a young couple smiles
Lights release shadows above cold nights
Outside the autumn taunts the summer memories
Leaves of the old tree knock on the conscience
A girl paints departure in a mirror
A tear goes away in the yellow paper
but sleep escapes
her face only
my mind quakes
close my eyes
Toss and sigh
the sun will hide
Twixt Autumn graves and still waves
wrapped in silent beauty she sleeps
Violet hue and faint dew
in her heart my love she keeps
Resting now after the battle
she had fought hard to save me
Fallen 'tween the columns and tombstones
none can wake her, only she
Will she ever wake?
What will it take
to bring her love back to me
Tomorrow is a luxury she forsakes
even as my heart breaks
She slumbers and together we will never be
The asphalt against my face
Sirens in the background
My fresh warm blood censuring my eyes
Over whelming feelings of regret and remorse rush through my mind
What am I to do in the last moments of my life?
To lay here and cry or to quietly die
Or to scream for help or to fade in the night
Wish for a new start or to pray for what I had.
What about my mom and my dad?
How are they going to take it without me by there side
I didn't get to say good bye or tell them how much I loved them both.
They should now that I will always be there with them.
I don’t want them to be sad, they should be mad, I made the selfish choice.
Having them by my side would make this better
To have my dad tell me “Its okay son we all make mistakes”
Or my mom to say “I can relate to how you are feeling, and that it will be okay”
But it won’t, because I’m feeling my hopes and my dreams all slipping away
Like a leaf falling off a tree on a windy autumn day.
He spent the golden years in his
garden growing vegetables like weeds.
With a Midas-like touch, instead of
gold, everything turned green.
Spring, summer and autumn, something
about growing brought him great joy.
Perhaps he saw in the garden's changing
seasons a semblance of life others did not:
Childhood as spring when like young
shoots he first grew,
Work and family as summer when his
crop began to yield,
Retirement as autumn when the fruits
of his labour were consumed.
And winter... well winter was his time
to rest and reflect on his crop.
He died in the winter of his being,
content with his harvest.
Struggling to put face and name together
You passed so long ago it is difficult to recall
Those bright hazel eyes that sparked of life
Dirty blonde hair as it shone in the daylight
Gone in the autumn you fell with the leaves
But you won’t return with the natal of spring
They regret and apologize for wars long over
Now old and crippled time cannot return to me
I have wept at your loss and done nothing
To repay the heavy burdened debt I carry
You were someone’s son and lover
Felled by my eye and bullet.