By any other name

This season demands so much
attention it has two names,
as if we could ignore Autumn
without the Fall. October fans
its leaves in vanity, colorfully spread
like a peacock posing
for photographs. The wind whistles
through them as if
it does us a favor. We’re listening.

The sun lazes low in the sky, refusing to climb
higher, taunting us with tantalizing heat
evaporating in the atmosphere
just beyond our reach.

The leaves eat the grass in November
swallow the ground completely
until all I hear is the chewing
underfoot. The wind blows silent through
pursed lips, impotent
in the cacophony crunching colorfully
under marching feet pressing
towards December and the frost.

No matter how proud the season it must give
way to the next, one generation follows
another thinking it knows better
& it always Falls the same.

Slow down

The sunflowers often remind me
to slow down. The goldfinch makes
its nest in Autumn, not quite at home

in Summer — content gathering seeds
before the freeze. Nimbus clouds threaten
to dampen even a well protected home

with the music of raindrops bouncing
on the roof. I find the smell of October
fires another reminder

the largest empires may burn.
When I slow down, Autumn’s oranges
let fall its wisdom.

Soulful pour

Morning arrived with an icy slap
of good intentions — a cheeky
reminder to weather another day.

The sun illuminates colorful leaves
left lazing through the autumn night,
packed tight by soles of passersby
enjoying the crush underfoot.

Sometimes I think I’d like to unpack
my soul and watch it pour
onto the ground just to see
the size of the mark you’ve left on it.

In the light we could marvel at the brilliance
of two souls cascading leisurely
together through whatever passes.

In Autumn

It’s likely I’m in Autumn. The leaves
reflect the glint of the sun — lower
in the sky though still creating a schism
in the heavens — golden light
among yellow and red foliage.

I hang a bit lower these days. Maybe
I even glow a bit less bright — dimmed
over the years though still resolved
in my journey — silver hair
replacing livelier colors.

I aged without consent, unsure
how to ask the sun to find a new pastime —
one that doesn’t revolve around
changing seasons and forcing cheese
into mold. Technicolor life.

Colors at dawn

What does one say to a sky
glowing in scarlet brilliance
at this early hour, blinking sleep
casting long shadows over dreams
half remembered, if all?

These vermilion pigments dance
among clouds, warming to the idea
of another day and whatever
unwraps the blues of normalcy,
mundane. Routine.

I’ll not let this complexion slip
to ordinary, even as trees
envelop us in shade, days creep
shorter, and shadows — those

dark false realities that smooth
us out to remove a dimension
on chilly, fallow ground — lurk
behind but never catch us.

Seasons and colors change

We walk this fall day – a few
more gray hairs than last – beneath
the leaves – rusted coppers
replacing youthful greens – clinging
to the only home they’ve ever known,
on the verge of their final voyage, that
rambling trek to what they know not.

This expedition under gray skies
takes us through the misty uncertainty
of that next great adventure, while
leaves search for courage to brave
one last tour – a change in altitude
if not attitude – of the crisp breezes
softening their descent to a new home.

Bring me fall

Fall birthdays are the best. Balloons
seem superfluous to the colorful, animated
trees – playing backdrop for the festive
gathering of friends and family –
painted with reds and oranges and yellows.
Even the browns feel alive
before jumping to the ground,
smiling to their final resting place.

Give me red of rosy cheeks
bitten by an autumn breeze.
Give me orange of pumpkin patch playgrounds
alive with laughter.
Give me yellow of hayrides hopping
down dusty roads removing harvest’s veil.

Bring me fall. Bring me bewitching days
and crisp nights hinting
at the cold to come, burning
birthday candles lighting the way.

The harvest moon breathes

The harvest moon breathes
deep tonight, sharing spices
from the cornucopia of pumpkin oranges
and warm apple reds
cooling in the autumn breeze
tossing leaves through the air
like cinnamon confetti celebrating
another summer’s retreat.

As squirrels snack on acorn squash
preparing for the unflinching onslaught
of gray, dull winter, I sip
on apple cider awed
by the colors of nature confident
in this moment
the moon will never exhale
and fall will never dwindle.

Fallen leaves

Tucked beneath the fallen leaves,
autumn pokes a head out, unsure about this
particular odyssey as the fire
of one last surprising summer day whirls

among the wind and whispers of
winter mocking healthy pumpkins, waiting
with rotten thoughts of browns
before whites before whatever. For now

I’ll hide myself underfoot among those
crunchy reminders of winter’s ephemeral
whimsy while I taste sunlight’s sweet
sting, dusk closing its eyes at last.