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Posts Tagged ‘autumn’

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The child in all of us takes great delight
When we are wakened from long summer’s night
To find we slept-walked past that season’s hall
And woke up in the crayon box of Fall.

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The photo is mine, of Quechee Gorge at Hartford, Vermont.
It was taken in early October of this year (2017).

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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okPTT1q

Fall is a flaming river flowing
Between the burning sands
Scorched by the sun and hot wind blowing
Through Summer’s heavy hands,

And Winter on Fall’s other shoulder,
Which broods and speeds its day
As northern winds grow cold and colder
And blast limp Fall away.

But flames upon the Autumn river
Don’t burn except these two:
Gray Winter with its jealous shiver;
Green Summer since it’s through.

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photo by Johnny Berg at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/okPTT1q/Forest+bed+in+autumn+-+HDR

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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smoky waterfall

I walked the narrow mountain trail
At first both up and down
Until I reached what seemed to be
The Smoky mountain’s crown.

And there, I paused upon the path
And looked out through the trees
To see the low slopes stretching out
In Autumn’s careless ease.

And then the hike was not as dear;
I ambled down the slope,
Pulled by the mountain’s own descent,
By gravity’s veiled rope.

I walked upon a rug of leaves
That, plastered by a rain,
Was Autumn’s decoupage of tints
Upon my traveled vein.

A tree had fallen ‘cross the way,
A trunk too big to climb.
On hands and knees I scuttled ‘neath,
Like snails slide through the slime.

I’d gone so far without a sign
I started to despair
Of ever finding what I sought –
The treasure that was rare.

More than a few times, turning back
Seemed what might be the best
And sacrifice what I had spent
In failing Smoky’s test.

I made a vow – a few more yards
Down and around the trail.
And there! – a place that matched my map!
I’d found my holy grail!

I clambered down the trail of rocks,
At times on hands and knees,
And at the bottom of the path –
The spot of pleasantries

That I had bought with energy –
A lonely waterfall,
A modest one that hid itself
Away from almost all.

I marveled at its majesty,
And mumbled to myself
As threads of silver water silk
Fell tumbling from a shelf.

Then, pictures taken in my mind
And in my camera, too,
I packed my gear and took my leave
For I had work to do.

That long descent, that downward glide
That ate away at time
Was now a mountain up above
That I would have to climb.

With weariness, I took my steps.
No longer did I stride.
And in the silence of the slope,
My age was amplified.

I warmed and shed my early coat,
Like trees had shed their leaves,
Like workers start their laboring
By rolling up their sleeves.

And toil I did, with trudging steps
That were both short and slow,
With frequent stops to catch my breath
For I had far to go.

I guessed two thousand steps would take
Me to the rest I sought.
I counted each so that my mind
With pain was not distraught.

I knew that predators would oft
Stalk, following the weak.
And if a bear was trolling me
I would surrender, meek.

I was the old man, and my sea
Rose o’er me as a slope
That I must conquer or be lost
Alone, and without hope.

I took two thousand steps and more;
Came to a mind-marked place.
Adrenalin seeped to my flesh,
And I, as snail, could race

The thousand steps it took to end
My private odyssey,
Where I could sit in weariness
While basking blissfully.

The precious jewel that I had found
Would never make me rich.
And present satisfaction would
Not stop a future itch.

But such things filed within the heart
When man’s done something fine,
Are treasured nuggets in one’s life
Like gold within a mine.

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The photos are mine: one is the trail I took with its obstacle.
The second is that secluded waterfall.

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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There will be rose and rhododendron
When you are dead and under ground;
Still will be heard from white syringas
Heavy with bees, a sunny sound;

Still will the tamaracks be raining
After the rain has ceased, and still
Will there be robins in the stubble,
Grey sheep upon the warm green hill.

Spring will not ail nor autumn falter;
Nothing will know that you are gone, –
Saving alone some sullen plough-land
None but yourself sets foot upon;

Saving the may-weed and the pig-weed
Nothing will know that you are dead, –
These, and perhaps a useless wagon
Standing beside some tumbled shed.

Oh, there will pass with your great passing
Little of beauty not your own, –
Only the light from common water,
Only the grace from simple stone!

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If aught of oaten stop, or pastoral song,
May hope, chaste Eve, to soothe thy modest ear,
Like thy own solemn springs,
Thy springs, and dying gales,

O nymph reserv’d, while now the bright-hair’d sun
Sits in yon western tent, whose cloudy skirts,
With brede ethereal wove,
O’er hang his wavy bed:

Now air is hush’d, save where the weak-ey’d bat,
With short shrill shriek flits by on leathern wing,
Or where the beetle winds
His small but sullen horn,

As oft he rises ‘midst the twilight path,
Against the Pilgrim borne in heedless hum:
Now teach me, maid compos’d,
To breathe some soften’d strain,

Whose numbers, stealing thro’ my darkning vale
May not unseemly with its stillness suit,
As, musing slow, I hail
Thy genial lov’d return!

For when thy folding-star arising shews
His play circlet, at his warning lamp
The fragrant Hours, and elves
Who slept in flowers the day,

And many a nymph who wreathes her brows with sedge,
And sheds the fresh’ning dew, and lovelier still,
The pensive Pleasures sweet
Prepare thy shadowy car.

Then lead, calm vot’ress, where some sheety lake
Cheers the lone heath, or some time-hallow’d pile,
Or upland fallows grey
Reflect its last cool gleam.

But when chill blust’ring winds, or driving rain,
Forbid my willing feet, be mine the hut
That from the mountain’s side,
Views wilds, and swelling floods,

And hamlets brown, and dim-discover’d spires,
And hears their simple bell, and marks o’er all
Thy dewy fingers draw
The gradual dusky veil.

While Spring shall pour his show’rs, as oft he wont,
And bathe thy breathing tresses, meekest Eve!
While Summer loves to sport,
Beneath thy ling’ring light;

While sallow Autumn fills thy lap with leaves,
Or Winter yelling thro’ the troublous air,
Affrights thy shrinking train,
And rudely rends thy robes;

So long, sure-found beneath the sylvan shed,
Shall Fancy, Friendship, Science, rose-lip’d Health
Thy gentlest influence own,
And hymn thy fav’rite name!

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Winter

Two seasons
Autumn and Winter –
Fire on ice.

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photo by Marja Flick-Buijs at
http://www.rgbstock.com/photo/meRdgn2/Winter+colors

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* The haiku I write are lines of 3-5-3 syllables instead of 5-7-5.
See Haiku article here for explanation, if needed: https://thebardonthehill.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/haiku/
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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

 

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In trees I walked at Smoky’s feet,
And calm the forest floor.
‘Twas late October and the leaves
All Autumn’s colors wore.

It rained a bit the night before,
And though the earth was damp,
My shoes did not pick up the mud
While on my silent tramp.

The fallen leaves well-paved my path;
They made a yellow way
That Dorothy’d been proud to walk
In Oz in her brief stay.

The leaf-laid carpet and that trail
‘Twas all my eyes could see,
The forest closed out all the world
And I was cloistered, free.

There was a great serenity
With Nature as I walked.
I listened as my soft steps fell,
And as the forest talked.

I passed a stream; it gurgled peace,
Caught drops of last night’s rain –
A few that fin’lly fell – but why?
(The reason not yet plain.)

I saw another mystery;
It struck me as most odd.
A leaf, then two, came floating down
As slow as turtles plod.

I saw then, out among the trees,
One here, another there.
First glance, they seemed like butterflies
With wings in disrepair.

They did not scurry, did not slant;
Their vertical was straight,
As if they were a dropping stone –
And yet they had no weight.

I took the line of their descent;
Gazed upward where the trees
All disappeared from sight by height –
And then I saw the breeze!

And then I knew why raindrops fell
When there was no more mist,
And why the leaves were shaken loose
But fell without a twist.

How isolated I felt then!
The world was not about.
And now I knew that Nature, too,
E’en Nature had shut out.

Like spiders coming down a strand,
The leaves did downward crawl.
And watching their descent I knew
Why men call Autumn, Fall.

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The photo is mine and was taken in Smoky Mt. National Park.

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2016.

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A fire-mist and a planet,
A crystal and a cell,
A jellyfish and saurian,
And caves where the cavemen dwell;
Then a sense of law and beauty,
And a face turned from the clod –
Some call it Evolution,
And others call it God.

A haze on the far horizon,
The infinite, tender sky;
The ripe, rich tint of the cornfields,
And the wild geese sailing high –
And all over upland lowland,
The charm of the golden rod –
Some of us call it Autumn,
And others call it God.

Like tides on a crescent sea-beach,
When the moon is new and thin,
Into our hearts high yearnings
Come welling and surging in –
Come from the mystic ocean,
Whose rim no foot has trod,
Some of us call it Longing,
And others call it God.

A picket frozen on duty –
A mother starved for her brood –
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus on the rood;
And millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight, hard pathway trod –
Some call it Consecration,
And others call it God.

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photo by Thomas Kelley

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The barber we call Winter cuts
The leaves from off the trees.
They stay upon his barber chair
Till shorn down to their knees. 

And all their brightly colored locks
Fall down upon his floor,
And clutter up his barbershop
Till they’re swept out the door. 

He has an old assistant – Wind,
Who sweeps them all away.
They’re quite a pair – old Winter, Wind:
They’ll work both night and day.


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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

 

 

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Gray ghosts afar, like elephants,
More massive than the men
Who gaze with awe upon the wall
That rises from earth’s den. 

Green-coated shoulders, forest feet –
The sight as one draws near;
And donned in Autumn – Joseph’s coat,
That jealous brothers jeer. 

Ridged behemoth, cloaked dinosaur
Whose crested, arching back
We crawl upon like helpless ants,
So tiny in attack. 

Receding Nature’s safe preserve,
The soul’s would-be retreat
If one finds how to get away
From all the other feet.


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The photo is mine, taken on a trip through Smoky Mountains
National Park last month (Oct., 2015).

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© Dennis Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2015.

 

 

 

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