Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Poetry Stretch - 13 Ways of Looking at Fall

This weekend I was savoring Wallace Steven's wonderful poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird. I began to think that looking at fall in this way might be an interesting thing to do. Now, you don't need to come up with 13 stanzas of your own. Perhaps we could write this as a modified renga, each contributing a verse or two.

Here are the stanzas I'm starting with (I think).

Why is autumn
Is it cooling temperatures?
Dampening spirits
as summer fades away?
Could it be as simple
as dropping leaves?


Ripe, round, juicy
delights picked 
and turned into
steaming, cinnamon slathered pies

However you want to approach it, the challenge this week is to write a few stanzas (or more!) about fall. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments.


  1. Thoughts About Autumn

    This tumble of a season,
    this cataract of leaf,
    this fumble into winter,
    this slide of grief
    this stumble of wind,
    this summersaulting pall,
    this loss of sunshine,
    this slip,
    this Fall.

    ©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  2. III

    Was it once called Rise?
    When brachiosaurs
    patrolled the shores
    of what is now
    Vineyard Sound?


    And trees past, taller
    than the tallest masts
    of the fastest tall
    ships, shuddered
    with vastness,
    casting the eyes

  3. V.

    each leaf
    snaps, flips,
    through blue
    October sky
    and slips
    into the scrapbook
    whose pages
    ruffle in the wind—
    till photos
    fly again

    Kate Coombs, 2013
    all rights reserved


    School bells announce
    Fall’s incoming tradition.
    I can’t wait for the ceremony.

    Fall’s still on vacation.
    My skin’s a spigot unleashing
    A fuselage of sweat as sunshine beats down
    On my visage.

    Humidity, which is like a nagging uncle
    Asking you to pull his finger
    Has vanished … finally!

    No more short sleeve shirts,
    Long sleeves have arrived.
    Evenings are glorious.
    Bone dry skin.

    Jacket weather with long pants.
    Feels as if a stranger
    Has infiltrated my limbs.

    Leaves are turning auburn,
    Some canary yellow
    Like corn on the cob.

    We’re all a feather floating
    Around without a care.
    Everyone’s mood is lighter,
    Neighbors, friends, even our science
    Teacher who lets us spend
    Half the class outdoors
    Staring at nature.

    After school I rake a kaleidoscope
    Of leaves, or as I sometimes call them: Tree follicles.
    I feel like a barber sweeping the floor after his
    Workday is done.

    Funny how I hated sunshine during
    the beginning of this school year
    Yet now I miss it because
    it goes to bed so early.

    For Halloween I dressed as a jungle cat
    Because I’m on the prowl.
    Well, not really, I was on punishment
    For not cleaning my room.
    I took comfort in that crisp air
    Blessing my face from the corner window.

    Grandma’s homemade powder blue gloves scarf and hat
    Have been added to my itinerary. Trees seem as if they
    Need a loving Grandma too. Branches shiver as
    Wind announces itself. Each tree is barren
    Like a two lane blacktop through the desert. If I wasn’t
    Late for school I’d give them all a hug.

    My room’s cleaner than a day old infant,
    Report card has more A’s than Arthur Fonzerelli.
    To celebrate being good for once I’m on a hayride.
    I take a mountain of nature’s straw and toss in the air
    As if preparing myself for snow. Owls chirp their lullaby,
    Birds provide 3 part harmony. My vocal contribution is
    Laughing in between sips of hot chocolate
    As we ride into the night.

    (c) Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.