The sun is setting earlier each day; the cold is slowly setting in.
The colors of fall are daily shifting –
Pink and purple, russet red
Greens and yellows, blending, merging
Glorious shades of gold and orange and brown –
It’s as though the whole countryside were a canvas
That you revisit each night, while I sleep.
In an old camp chair overlooking the creek,
I spend long hours smoking cigarettes
And admiring your handiwork.
I watch as the colors slowly fade,
The leaves are withered, one by one,
Abandoning the branches which gave them birth
To decay, and return to the earth.
There’s an oak tree on the hillside
That is the frequent focus of my meditations;
My mandala, my candle flame.
Having gracefully undergone the changes of the season,
This beautiful tree-spirit-being now stands naked to the elements,
Silhouetted against the sky
Like the exposed nerve endings of the night.
O architect – let thy seasons move in me!
Strip me bare like the old oak tree!
Spirit guide these autumn reveries –
Teach me to surrender myself entirely.
For surrounded as I am by change, and loss, and decay,
What permanence have I?
When I have let go of all that is not Real,
I am nowhere to be found –
The wind and leaves and barren trees
The earth, the sky, the sun and moon
This body, this moment, this poem –
All thought and form is just dancing,
On the wind of your breath.