Autumn Leaving

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After the too long winter

I want to drop to my knees in gratitude on April’s crocus carpet

And when the sun stays up late in summer

You’ll find me in some park or garden, unwilling to depart before the final embers are extinguished by the evening cool

As squirrel-like, I feel compelled to hoard every last nugget of light.


Yet despite my annual joy when daffodils raise their trumpets to herald new life

This hope always turns to disappointment


For summer never quite fulfils spring’s promise


And that exotic flower

Whose scent I catch in early May

And whose burgeoning splendour I strongly sense in balmy June

Must bloom in gardens where I never go

For these many summers I’ve not found it yet.


But autumn’s glorious dying I have seen

And the serene relinquishing of all those deeds not done

Reconciled with misdeeds that irrevocably were, in naïve spring or hot-headed summer.

Once reaped, this lawful harvest is gently laid on November’s cleansing fire

For purification in that impartial furnace, a truer friend in the end, than the seductive sun

And as the scent of surrender is carried on the smoky air

I know that spring and summer have never produced

A fragrance quite as sweet.

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