A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 300: Autumn the Compassionate

Autumn sun slices

Photo by Ron Kok, Ottawa, 2017

It may be the height of hubris for me, after a few days of posting poems about autumn by incredible poets, to post a poem I wrote in this space today, also about autumn.

Then again, maybe it is more so the height of hubris to use the word hubris in your blog.

At any rate, below is my stab at putting words to the season that I’ve come to love more than any other:

Autumn the Compassionate

Autumn sun cuts and slices across
My face, my chest, my arms
It cuts across but leaves no harm

Instead it consoles, comforts
Warm like a blanket wrapped
Over me against the chill

Autumn wind is alive and strong
Washing summer away
Preparing me for cold to come

It speaks with both warmth
And foreboding on its lips
“Winter is coming, y’all”

Autumn beauty knows no boundaries
It is no respecter of persons
To rich, poor alike it blesses

Carpeting our feet, painting a canopy
With colors of fire providing
Warmth without the heat

Autumn is the season that
Eases us forward to cold
In its polite and gentle way

Of all seasons this one of color
Contains the most compassion
Tinged in red, yellow and orange

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 299: Autumn Song

October morning sky Ottawa

Photo by Ron Kok, Ottawa, 2017

Autumn Song by Sarojini Naidu

Like a joy on the heart of a sorrow,
The sunset hangs on a cloud;
A golden storm of glittering sheaves,
Of fair and frail and fluttering leaves,
The wild wind blows in a cloud.

Hark to a voice that is calling
To my heart in the voice of the wind:
My heart is weary and sad and alone,
For its dreams like the fluttering leaves have gone,
And why should I stay behind?

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 298: The Heat of Autumn

The heat of autumn

Photo by Ron Kok, Ottawa, 2017

The Heat of Autumn by Jane Hirshfield

The heat of autumn
is different from the heat of summer.
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.
One is a dock you walk out on,
the other the spine of a thin swimming horse
and the river each day a full measure colder.
A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover.
Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,
rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser
by color. That’s autumn heat:
her hand placing silver buckles with silver,
gold buckles with gold, setting each
on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,
and calling it pleasure.

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 297: Sonnet 73

Ginko leaves Ottawa

Photo by Ron Kok, Ottawa, 2017

Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare

That time of year thou may’st in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by-and-by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceivest, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 296: To Autumn

Autumn leaves Thurston Dr Ottawa

Photo by Ron Kok, Ottawa, 2017

To Autumn by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
   Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
   With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
   And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
      To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
   With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
      For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
   Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
   Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
   Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
      Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
   Steady thy laden head across a brook;
   Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
      Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?
   Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
   And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
   Among the river sallows, borne aloft
      Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
   Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
   The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
      And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.