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13 SIGNS OF AUTUMN













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                1                                   
it begins in late August
a change in the air
soft light pierces my heart like an arrow
a hawk soars
trees are whispering
and the hills turn gold
darkness comes sooner
I live for these days
final moments of warm contentment
before the North wind blows
 
                2
hear that dog barking
wind blowing
and darkness approaching
the sound of September rain
leaves flutter down
melting color from the trees
then fade like the cry of distant geese
 
                3           
abandoned railroad bridge
ancient stone walls
rusting weathervane
cobblestone and ivy
iron fence surrounds a thicket
of sunflowers
 
                4
clouds pastel and charcoal
whistle and warbles greet the dawn
a flock of blackbirds swoops
in the woodland
crows call to each other
squawk
steady chattering
tapping on a tree trunk
furious preparations for winter
 
                5
the clock is ticking
moment by moment
leaf by leaf
they float down like butterflies
like heartbeats with colored parachutes
each unique like snowflakes
a perfect carpet of leaves
skirts the tree
crackling sounds as I walk
feeling the fire of fall
 
                6
damp smell
fog in the valley
a light drizzle
not enough to call it winter
but within a few days
a raven steals the sun
the temperature drops
heavy rain
bare trees
 
                7
hooting owl and diffuse moon 
preside over a hard frost
no shadow on the sundial
no sound from the lark
a portent of change
 
                8
frost on the pumpkin
early snowfall late flowers
Queen Anne's lace
maple leaves and goldenrod
all coexist peacefully
 
                9
scarecrows and cornstalks
harvest dinner
cider and squash
bonfires burn
and shadows hide an orange moon
pumpkins smile and
illuminate the dark
like glowing Cheshire Cats
greeting spirits of the night
 
                10
haystacks in the field
under overcast clouds
a pumpkin man hides in the corn
the swamp is dry
and weeds turn brown
twilight creeps over the farm
 
                11
the play of shadows
against full moon
midnight migrations
was that a witch on her broom?
fly high on your broomstick
soar through the sky
like a dragonfly
 
                12      
a skeleton in the closet rattles his bones
clamoring to get out
for witching hour on Halloween
to play his harp in the fields
 
                13       
a knock on the door...
come in
again...
come in
summer gets up to answer...
and never returns