That first leaf to abandon the summer –
at first I thought it was sad,
giving up early because of a few
cool days. But tonight, it feels brave.
Letting it end before it must end.
The solstice came, the days lengthen and
winter blows colder winds, but tree man,
a gentle soul, not a horror legend,
holds on to his brown autumn coat,
guarding the creek, watching me grow old.
The sunset color of this morning’s tea
in its clear glass is a filter
where I can view this day’s end.
In oak, cedar and maple liquid hues,
I see early winter as autumn again.
I picked apples and the last tomato,
but there are still plenty in stores.
And they will be there all winter,
but my brain and body knows it’s
apple time and some things are ending.
From up here, the treetops are brushstrokes.
Swaying shadows shade places secluded under colors.
A known river runs beneath this canvas –
but not today – while a distant fire
is the softwood incense for my meditation.