Autumn is Solemn — A Poem


The colors are past their peak in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina. Yesterday the wind and rain began stripping the trees of their leaves. They swirl down to earth, some stem first like a bather testing pool water with one foot. Others drop like a hand, palm up—resigned. Some glide in a dance with others and it is breathtaking to watch their descent. Autumn is solemn. It is more an ending than a beginning. Nothing stands still in life. Yet the colors of autumn and the softer light of a southerly moving sun make me think of a home–quiet, warm, and welcoming. Perhaps even eternal.

Presented in the following is a poem I composed a few years back.


Scarlet and gold tumble
Over the blue asphalt road.         
And in pirouetting frenzy part
To admit the green pickup
Nudging toward winter.
It passes,
And the crisp flow
Folds in behind it,
As if resuming a resolute search
For a place to rest.
The lingering sanctus light
Pours through the branches
Of insistent copper trees
To brighten a solemnity of decay.

John J. Hohn
October 27, 2001

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