Friday, October 10, 2014

the sound of leaves falling

The Poem

by Donald Hall

It discovers by night
what the day hid from it.
Sometimes it turns itself
into an animal.
In summer it takes long walks
by itself where meadows
fold back from ditches.
Once it stood still
in a quiet row of machines.
Who knows
what it is thinking?

October 10

by Wendell Berry

Now constantly there is the sound,
quieter than rain,
of the leaves falling.

Under their loosening bright 
gold, the sycamore limbs
bleach whiter.

Now the only flowers
are bee weed and aster, spray
of their white and lavender 
over the brown leaves.

The calling of a crow sounds
loud - a landmark - now
that the life of summer falls
silent, and the nights grow.

- from New Collected Poems, by Wendell Berry

I couldn't resist a poem, this morning, titled "October 10" on the very same day, however many years later.

I love the sound of leaves falling, in a light breeze, or a rainy wind. Best of all, when it's still, and quiet, and you can hear them clatter on the pavement. When I'm standing in the trees and I can see one drift down from high, spinning, pinballing against branches.

And then in the Hall piece, I love the idea of the poem turning itself into an animal. Perhaps in Fall, the poem might turn itself into a magpie.

"I am most grateful for the recurring reminder
that we are all more than we appear to be." 

- Martha Nelson

Well, the blog is certainly a bit of a magpie, collecting this bright thing and that. 

Some mornings I wish I were more organized, that the file I keep on poems and thoughts and quotations I want to share, was larger. But in all honesty, I abide by certain constraints. I wake up a little before 6am. And breakfast is at 7am, which is when I wake up our daughter for school. Usually I'll have uploaded photos beforehand, but the rest is a blank slate. Occasionally I'll queue up a post the night before, but usually I use this 'fly by the seat of my pants' early morning method. My general rule is not to overthink, but to just say whatever is on my mind while I'm drinking my first coffee of the day, looking at the photos I happen to have, and scrolling through the internet and eyeing up my own book shelves. It all seems somewhat reckless and likely goes against many of the prescribed rules of blogging. And yet, you're all here, and quite forgiving of my incoherence, for which I'm terribly grateful. 

Which leads me to the above, haphazardly collected quotation. I can't say where it's from....though will do some further checking later today.

But it's something I wanted to take with me as I head off to the day job today, a long shift, for me. There's nothing like working in a public library to constantly remind that every single person is more than they appear to be. 

You might remember photos from a plum tree I found in the neighbourhood many, many posts ago. Well, these are the leaves from that tree, which hangs out of its yard, drapes over the fence near the public walkway. I think I 'borrow' a few every year, because of the way they turn so many different colours, and often in the same leaf. 

Next, my oft repeated utility corridor photograph. 

The usual Ace photo. 

And lastly, a cliched photo of a dandelion and bokeh bubbles. But hey, it's Friday. And it so happens I'm fond of dandelions gone to seed. 

Enjoy your weekend, all, and may calm things come your way....


  1. There is nothing to apologise for in your 'magpie' ways -- I love the way you make connections between the bright things. Calm Things has slipped into my routine between putting my littles to bed & doing my own tiny bit of writing. Perfect for shifting my mood from the petty frustrations of the day to a quieter place. I rather like the symmetry of you writing in your morning, and me reading in my evening. So thank you! (And I love the leaves -- so beautiful!)

    1. Thanks so much, Sarah - makes me happy to hear. I'm off to take a longer look at your blog!

  2. i love when you share the humanness of your daily routine... and the bits of your life.
    and i can never see enough pictures of beloved ace.
    the little leaves i find particulary poignant. all lined up. like autumn ballerinas.
    don't know why... but i find them so beautiful thinking of them so.

  3. Thanks for the thoughts, photos and your blog!

  4. thx for being here, Tammy and Eva.


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