SMALL STANZAS IN AUTUMNAutumn returns, and again we are cast thistledown
together on the winds, wrote Tu Fu in 755 AD,
and I feel the cold air blowing, the years falling
by like so many yellow leaves. Down in the meadow,
some larkspur, a few black-eyed Susans still bloom,
but itís late in the season, everything going to seed.
The afternoon sun licks strips of gold on my arms.
A drowsy silence, hummed by bees. The thunk of an apple,
finally ripe, falling. We tilt at the balancing point,
between summerís too-much and winterís not-enough;
the sumac flickers red in the hedgerow. Last sweet
raspberries. The old cherry tree turning orange
peach orchid gold, a sunset of leaves. Small sulphur
butterflies dance on the lawn. Who could paint
a sky this blue? The pages of my notebook
flutter in the breeze.