Even the Roadside Weeds

My eye cannot escape
This fall’s spectacular.
A torch-lit maple at the meadow’s rise
Signals the season’s change:
The summer gone, the ripened seeds,
The shortened days, the cooling sun,
The empty oriole’s nest aswing;
Even the weeds
At roadside are aflame;
Sumac burns
To darkened pyres through frost;
The tops of willows bending in the draw
Blow down the valley in a gale of leaves;
The autumn sky deceives with sapphire calm,
The evergreens ignore the passing fall,
The tawny grasses tune the wind to song.
Why can’t all dying be so beautiful!

Where Shaded Woodlands Part

We wait, each for the other to abate
This silenced mood with phrases steeped in warm
Intoxicating sun, alleviate
This lengthened hour, again walk arm in arm.
Pride clings tenaciously as winter’s chill,
As ice on stilted oak in stubborn cold;
Yet time has always known the thaw and will
Again as wreaths of light and love unfold.
Like quaking aspen dancing restlessly
On furring mountain slopes, and fluted wind
That laves ripe grain, unspoken thoughts stir free
And syllables in sentient tones descend.
Let mind meet mind where shaded woodlands part,
For words without their shadows heal the heart.

[illustration] “Mormon Home,” by Maynard Dixon