“Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” Lao Tzu
The summer idles soon dissolve and autumn chores come due.
I split and stack the firewood and clean the sooty flue.
In my yard, with the messy genius of its webs,
October’s captured insects keep the spiders all well fed,
And they tuck their sticky egg sacs in the rafters of the shed.
Birds scratch and fidget in the woodyard debris,
Warm in the sun with their activity.
Yet they know, they know, the order of things,
And that the time is near.
And of all the songs they sang in spring,
While in the trees, that I can still remember,
None hinted at the frosty days that arrive with each November.
I hear a wind chimes’ melody announce a frisky breeze
That stirs and unhinges from the black oak’s branches
A large dense cloud of leaves.
Over the fence they twirl, and plummet to the ground
And nest on the rocks that surround the green laurel.
The talons of their stems wedge near to the stones
And resist the rake that claws at their bones.
Others hide behind the skirt of the burning bush hedges.
More scuttle down the street on their curly dry edges,
Propelled by a gust, disappearing with the wind.
And I, too, know the order of some things:
That poetry exists in the disorder of life
And decoration in its clutter.
For at 69, I live in a perpetual world of autumn,
Chilled by the oblique light of age and illness.
And the days flutter away, much like the leaves
While I keep the company of stillness.
Yet I don’t resent mortality,
Nor does the child that resides in me.
Though it’s manifest in what we hear and see.
PS: Notes and numbers on the third cycle in The Drill.
Apologies to all who read and commented on Adagio for Autumn. I didn’t like that post and have replaced its intentions with these verses.