The thing below is NOT a poem.
I’ve decided to call it a ‘pourem’.
Words that poured from my heart and onto the page, without invitation.
The colours have come and gone
You know the ones
Revered in poems and short stories
In blog posts and books
The reds, the golds, the crimsons
Deep pinks and oranges and apricots
Dazzling us with their glamour
Then falling in the cold winds of November
Turning brown and dry on the earth below
And what remains?
What remains is what was here before:
The sturdy trunks of oaks and maples
Rooted in the hillsides of our little valley
With grey-brown bark their only cover
The birches, beeches, cedars
The dogwood, spruce and willows
Branches giving rest to birds
The robins in their dozens
The doves in their pairs
A jay, flashing its blue, white, black and grey
An avian caravan on its way
The annual trip to somewhere warm
And what remains?
A few brave ones remain with us:
Some chickadees, some doves
The cardinals, scarlet coat glowing
In the lace of the evergreen tree
The squirrels, in grey or black fur
Thickened for winter
The memories, of salmon by the dozen
The hundreds, perhaps thousands
Struggling their way upstream
Of crows gathering in tall trees, watching
For fish killed in the effort
And the thought that someone saw a bear here once
And heard the coyote howl
What remains was ever thus:
The iron-grey water of the stream
Gliding between its banks
Breaking barriers with ease
A glint of silver where water surpasses rocks
In a never-ending journey toward the lake
And the first snow on trees and grass
And white on white, un-peopled chairs left out
And the knowledge that in this valley
Autumn is always followed by winter
And winter by spring
And if we’re lucky, we too remain
To see another summer
And perhaps another autumn
When the colours return
Dedicated to friends Carol and Amanda.
Photos by Hamlin Grange.