“Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” Lao Tzu
In early November, wet weather arrived to cleanse the Hood River Valley. Seasonal debris in our yard glistened with rain.
Oval blades of lilac nested with the serrated ellipses of cherry. The lobed margins of oak leaves tucked themselves into the mix. Veins on the leafy moons of nasturtium floated above a bed of river stone.
Overhead, geese conversed as they departed for winter retreats. My cheeks simmered in the morning’s chill. The scent of decomposing leaf litter filled the sweet damp air.
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From Five Easy Pieces:
Summer dissolved in autumn’s weakened sun.
Chores came due, and the pine and fir were split,
And the roof scaled to clean the sooted flue,
And the tawny wood stacked up high against
The barren rafters of the weathered shed,
Where spiders fed on October’s insects.
Dense clouds of leaves floated over the fence
From the boughs of a neighbor’s noble oak.
They twirled and plummeted to the ground
In the shaggy frost of early morning,
Nesting on stones that surround the laurel
And the mossed trunk of the white bark cherry.
I gathered up the fallen debris and
Arrested disorder with symmetry.
I quarreled against the icy chill, and
The bedded stems that resisted the rake,
And the whorl of leaves that escaped its scratch
To scatter free, outside my custody.
Some hid in the skirt of the burning bush:
The clutter of perpetual autumn.
Others fluttered away, dried and brittle,
Propelled by the wealth of west winds that honed
And shaped the land and the silent river
Where great blue heron glide and fish alone.
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