AUTUMN

Perhaps my age has taught me appreciation
for slowing down and accepting
seasons for what they are, for vacation
and weekends with less expecting

of far-off adventures. I say this
because I’ve never appreciated
autumn as much as I do now. The bliss
of air crispness, trees emaciated
as leaves turn colors and tumble.

Apples taste fresher. Isn’t that odd?

Learning the joy of this makes me humble.
I’ve become more certain of my own god,
a natural sort of spirit, not fickle,
not bent on hurt or pain.

This god has a barn full of hoe and sickle.
This god pours the watering can of rain.

And maybe age has greased my wheels,
so that I spin more without
getting as far. There is much about autumn to feel,

much to talk about.
I take pleasure in the cider press.
We know these walks are precious, so we
make them long, I in shorts, she in a dress.
Both barefoot. Both learning peace.

Fall is the change of ripe to rust,
and it ensnares the romantic in me,
to attach meaning to the season.

A harvest can be
reconciliation of regrets, too. Give reason
to our mistakes. It can be reflection
on such a perfect summer. How
we earned this after last winter. We make connections
among the years, now.

They pass quicker. So I settle for a chair
on the lawn, writing my heart into a book.
I know that summer will always be there,
when winter melts and we take a look
at lives enriched by fires, by strolls,

by the places we call home, the catfish on our fishing poles.
So autumn becomes less a sad story to tell,
and becomes yet another source of passion in life’s finite well.

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THE GREATEST LOVE

The greatest love does not ask
for returns; it has capacity for endless giving.
To aid your love with every task,
becomes the gift of such a way of living.

You pick flowers she’ll love, not because
she’ll love them, but to brighten the table,

and when she sees them and loves
them, then that’s just the extra you’re able
to give the home. Or, perhaps

an afternoon apple picking and then dancing,
does not happen to be a trap,
to snatch her heart in sweeter romancing,
but only because you both like
apples, and you both like to dance.

Or when you fix up your bikes,
and go riding out, despite the chance
of rain, and get soggy and soaked.

You come home and laugh about
it over coffee. No agenda cloaked.
Nothing you’re trying to get out
of the date. That’s the joy of getting

to that place, where lovers can be
themselves, the other one letting
their lover Be, and that’s the harmony
of the Greatest Love. So allow
yourself to get beyond the coy,
beyond the looks. Stop being shallow,

and deepen the moments, find the joy
in errands, in leftovers.
Give yourself the afternoon to read.

Become better lovers
when you kiss out of Want instead of Need.
The Greatest Love is not fiction.

I’ve seen it last; it’s the only kind that does.
Learn to smooth through any friction,
and find the peace of love.