We have returned to autumn,
A season of cruelty.
Blooming grasses now
Populate the carpet
And the sycamore’s long arms
Twist to shake the leafy canopy.
By next month the midday scorch
Will be forgotten.
I’ll have to clothe bareness,
Fold away the sensual
See-through laces of summer;
Already I’ve brushed off
Tree bark and moss I gathered,
Kept braided in my hair.
The glitter of the sunlight
Will turn dull,
Nature will change.
There comes awareness in autumn
That clearly understands decay,
The mind polishing its mirrors:
Of wrinkled leaves and dying blossoms
Discarded seashell necklaces,
Of these, defeated hope is most
Grave, of these, the deepest slash.
The leaves of autumn give
Spectacular displays, return
To green the sycamore in spring.
Lovers know there is no death
To blossoms: they’ll sprout again,
Blossoms are when lovers kiss.
But I sense the finite in autumn whispers:
The sleepy wind and yawning rain
Dance to the rhythm of a swan song.
Nature, impassive to their harmony
Allows their friendship to dissolve.
One squall, the next and then another
Each a betrayal added to the score
That’s the cruelty, the despair of autumn
An intermingling of the mellow and the storm.
It’s fragile, it will break again.
The buttresses stand too far apart.
Just let it crumble then.