The Autumn Race

by John Grey

So why so many Autumn poems? 

The pastel colors I get 

but truth is 

the words are witness to a dying, 

trees drained of all reason for being, 

no more deep greens to match 

the true blue of the sky, 

no bustling nests, 

no juicy fruit, 

half the animals already 

burrowed into caves 

and the rest foraging and foraging 

for lesser and lesser returns. 

Poems are over-matched by summer.  

And every spring bud is another cliché.  

Only winter runs Autumn close  
but, ultimately, the thick white crust does away  

with details, and the poet’s forced unwillingly  

into his own ever-brumal psyche  

where it’s all January all of the time. 

Autumn, to validate Keats, 

is where beauty becomes truth, 

and a weathered loveliness 

tracks its own ephemera 

from branch to mulch. 

So why so many poems 

of transient beauty, 

inevitable fate? 

The answer is poets, 

change in weather.

Chill in the bones, 

and again, poets. 

Without Autumn, 

they’ve only themselves to blame.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Soundings East, Dalhousie Review and Connecticut River Review. His latest book, “Leaves On Pages,” is available through Amazon.


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