When the leaves are gone

When the leaves are gone
lying on the ground in a soft blanket of brown,
I’ll see more clearly.

Gray squirrels running up and down,
across the branches,
outlining the trees with motion.

The white tail signaling a deer,
its body blending with the winter wood’s
shades of brown and gray.

Widespread wings of a hawk
brushing barren branches where
they meet the sky.

Birds in all their splendid garb
fly and flitter and hop,
then pause among the branches.

I’ll see more clearly when the leaves are down,
their brief cycle of life spent out.

The limbs, majestic sculptures against
a gray November sky,
or stark black before the red sky sunset,
my piece of the earth turning from the sun
and facing the night.

Darkness comes early,
when the leaves are gone.
But small lights shine through the woods then,
and tell me I am not alone.

21 thoughts on “When the leaves are gone”

  1. This is lovely Christine. Truly lovely. Even though the end of fall is somewhat depressing, it does indeed bring with it clarity and its own quiet beauty. I love the alliteration throughout and its just perfect piece of writing.

    1. You’re too kind. It’s not very polished, but then nothing I post is. What can you expect from a post-a-day-with-weekends-off? (I just hope my creative writing/poetry teacher doesn’t happen by it today.)

      1. Christine, stop putting yourself down because a) its insulting yourself and b) it kind of insults me by suggesting that I have no taste in writing. I may not be an expert on poetry, but I do know when a poem speaks to me, and when the language flows with lyrical beauty. I don’t care whether it meets the criteria established by some rules of writing, I care that the images and the words and the message say something to my soul.

      2. You’re right. No offense meant. I like it well enough or I wouldn’t have posted it. I stand, or technically sit, corrected.

        I’m really glad you liked it.

      1. I get outside and I love it. I think I appreciate it even more having spent a few days inside. The wind on my face seems heavenly. Blessings to you, Christine…

  2. You’ve really caught autumn here. I particularly like the ambiguity of your ‘refrain’: ‘I’ll see more clearly when the leaves are down.’ Some lovely images too – the deer’s tail, the lights through the trees…

  3. I found this lovely poem while looking for some uplifting words to share with a friend feeling gloomy about impending winter. It’s really such a beautiful thought, how the falling leaves serve as a curtain opening to a nature that otherwise remains hidden and unappreciated.




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