AUTUMN puts on a Paradox Performance:
She hurries to change scenes and costumes
making me dizzy with her diversity
as she passes briefly between summer
and winter's blustery polar breath.
AUTUMN quickly comes and goes
a transient season of diminishing sunlight
and shortened fugitive days
still she turns once more to bless me
with the ineffable glow of a splendid sunset
leaves fall from soon bare branches
yet such glory in their surrender of life
a part of nature dying all around
amidst a time of bountiful harvest.
AUTUMN's paradox inevitably brings
sadness for diminishing mortal years
yet deep gratitude toward seasons past
rue for course of life I might have changed
now decreed and appointed
I must let go of what I cannot alter
to embrace the joy of what's to come.
AUTUMN's paradox offers me time
to gather all my nostalgia
like creatures forage for their winter larder
I will store up my treasured memories
to savor on a frigid winter's night
around the warmth of the dying embers
of my friendly hearth
and rest content in God's best plan.
AUTUMN is a wet, crunching bite
of a Shenandoah Valley orchard apple
a plump pumpkin time
a snuggle-under-covers season
a time for raking leaves
winding up the garden hose
pulling up dry plants
a porch furniture storing time
a moth-balled sweater
retrieved from the cedar closet
with last year's woolen gloves.
AUTUMN is a cushion
a subdued, leaf-fire-scented buffer
between the swelter of summer
and the wail of frigid winter:
my favorite interlude
this seasonal spectacular!
AUTUMN arrives with composure
and quiet earnestness
unlike the sudden burst of spring.
It signals flocks southward
to hurry with their bounty tasks
before the latter rains.
AUTUMN causes football fever
in restless males: spectators and team.
It sets off ghostly squeals and costume madness
in the young for Halloween
while Thanksgiving menus and fall fashions
tantalize the female mind.
AUTUMN taps summer on the shoulder
nudges it out of the way
and displaces the sultry day
with crispy-cool jacket weather.
I eagerly trade
deep-breathing frosty morning walks
for sluggish dullness that stalks
humid hot July which I
only tolerate because
I anticipate AUTUMN.
The painted leaf, the falling leaf
evoke a tension in my emotions
between joy and grief:
regret for what I haven't done
at blaze of summer sun
and gratitude for living
to this moment of harvest
in relationships and nature.
The wardrobe of the seasons
would be incomplete and out-of-style
without the flashy scarf and golden cap
of AUTUMN and her smile!
P.S. Thanks, God, for not bargain shopping
but going first-class
when You thought up AUTUMN!