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Swamp In The Forest painted by Fyodor Vasilyev

Autumn Poems

Jane Tyson Clement

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  • Joanna McKethan

    Awesome poetry

Growth

At what instant does the summer change?
What subtle chemistry of air
and sunlight on the clean and windsmooth sand?
The small birds at the water’s edge –
yesterday they were not there.
So suddenly the magic door is shut,
the trio suddenly is done,
the clasped hands inexplicably apart;
however dear, however bright,
the road we traveled on is gone.

The Brass Locust

So now again the tide wanes and the air
is rich with what would rather be forgotten;
and hard on the moving, on the changing wind
the eternal locust sounds its sharp despair:
the rasp of autumn and the rasp of heat,
metal of prophecy but not of peace,
awl in the ear to make us bondsmen here,
brand in the flesh of mind; under the beat
of sun, of light rain, of the dazzling earth
we lose the visioned, the encompassing eye;
the brass of locust boring in the noon
speaks for the alien and the coming dearth:
the unwise lift their heads, remembering cold,
regathering wisdom, as the sun grows old.

Autumn Sketch

The wind in the dry standing corn is the sound of many waters.
(This is the season for remembering,
for gathering in memories like flowers before frost.)
Over the mountains the dark clouds of birds wheel and vanish
and the air stills slowly with the beat of wings
in the light no longer.
(This is the season for what is over and done with, finished.
Hold no promise in your hands. Look to the earth no longer,
nor tho the sky, for the snows gather.)
The wind through the standing corn is the murmur of many waters;
look for frost on the hillside and milkweed pods
smoking along the roads.
(This is the season for remembering;
blow on your hearth’s embers, and ask for a little while
no new springing.)


From No One Can Stem the Tide: Selected Poems 1931-1991.

Swamp In The Forest painted by Fyodor Vasilyev Swamp In the Forest, detail, by Fyodor Vasilyev
Contributed By Jane Tyson Clement Jane Tyson Clement

Jane Tyson Clement (1917–2000) was a poet, author, and playwright.

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