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Autumn Sequence
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Winter Sequence

Autumn Sequence

Dawn's pink streaks
On the potted chrysanthemum--
Such clarity of hue...
The petals of the first bloom
Appear in the morning mist.

Morning light--
On the burr, the frost
Clinging;
Will this sadness melt away
Or travel as my companion?

How cruel!
My exhaled breath melts
Into the cold air...
The cicada can't cry
To shake the dew from its wings.

The cry
Of a lone goose joins others--
These dark clouds;
I remember that autumn
Brings cold winds to other homes.

Melting frost
Slides from the house roof--
The autumn sun;
Each drop sends a trembling ripple
In the curve of a fallen leaf.

The sun-lit river;
A sandstone cliff
Reflecting clearly--
Why do I only remember
The ripples in my life?

Partly open
To autumn's chilling wind,
A cove;
Sky and cloud reflections hide
What is in the water's depths.

Falling leaves...
On the cottonwood trunks,
High water marks;
Was it so long ago
When love sated all?

Autumn rain;
In the bottom of the bucket
Soggy leaves--
Their brilliant hues diluted
In the stagnant water.

The grayness
Of autumn drizzle
On the old pond;
A scarlet maple leaf sticks
To the withering reeds.

Parting gray clouds;
Brightness and shadows
Rushing past--
A squirrel bounds into the tree
With an acorn in its mouth.

In the air,
Past the goldenrod's hue--
A humming blur...
Grasshopper wings disappear
Into the waning sun.

The wing beats
Of migrating blackbirds
So loud--
The dried maple leaves
Rustle in passing wind.

Autumn sunset;
On the field of ripe beans,
The last golden rays--
My heart stores up the sky's hues
Before night seals all in blackness.
(Allusion to Shakespeare's Sonnet 73)

 

So intense
This light that shines--
The harvest moon;
My illusions can't find
A dark spot to hide.

Unseen
In the autumn wind,
The colored leaves;
Why should they heed the cry "Stop"
From a woman with gray hair?

The hoot of an owl
Over the harvested fields--
Such loneliness!
Only the moon and I
Witness the deep echo.

Almost gone...
The scent of unseen alyssum
Mingling with frost;
My exhaled breath clouds
The brightness of the Big Dipper.

A few blossoms
Amid withering crabapples--
Limbs almost bare;
In the autumn moonlight
I watch for traces of frost.

All Souls' Eve;
Some branches breaking
In an unknown woods--
Who is there to join me
In this cold darkness?

 

Donna Ferrell -- 2002