Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Yellow Drift of Leaves

October is a month of bittersweet beauty. Nature's colors ignite in bursts of red, orange and yellow, then fade and crumble, finally yielding to winter's cold white majesty.

These four poets express some of the sadness and glory that is October.

October Journey

I want to tell you what hills are like in October
when colors gush down mountainsides
and little streams are freighted with a caravan of leaves,
I want to tell you how they blush and turn in fiery shame
and joy,
how their love burns with flames consuming and terrible
until we wake one morning and woods are like a smoldering
plain --

a glowing cauldron full of jeweled fire;
the emerald earth a dragon's eye
the poplars drenched with yellow light
and dogwoods blazing bloody red.
Traveling southward earth changes from gray rock to green velvet.
-Margaret Walker

The Love for October

A child looking at ruins grows younger
but cold
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even if death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun
-W.S. Merwin

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost

...The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves...
-Sara Teasdale


Anonymous said...

What an appropriate pairing of Autumn poetry and reflective photography!

diane said...

Autumn is still on the cusp of color right now, but these photos are from past Octobers.

It is my favorite season heartbreakingly lovely, heartbreakingly brief.

A Keeper's Jackpot said...

Beautiful pictures and poems. My only problem with Autumn is that it isn't warm anymore!

diane said...

I still have hopes of an Indian Summer before the inevitable freeze.