October Inventory

Our low endeavoring sun
gently downs golden leaves
one by one except when
A frigid blast hurls them
stinging into my face

Leaves soggy one day
crunchy the next
My feet and cane
pestle and liberate their
musty pungent fragrance

Our sky widens again
Sea reclaims once more
its chameleon surface
as boats leave marina slips
on trailers heading into town

But not before sailors take
one final jaunt into grey
green and blue reflections
Return and unwind dock lines
from their hips

Piers abandoned but
boarded by fleet-footed
white mewling gulls
puffing and huddling until
wind hoists their unfurled wings

Stray grasshoppers dragonflies
Lethargic bees and wasps
Solitary monarchs who
missed their scheduled flight
to Mexico

Expat Canadian geese
foolishly form their V’s
then land again in futility
Honking memories of
migratory prowess

They linger all winter
Icy film or deep freeze
on lagoon and marina
simply propels them to
open rivers and sea

Being likewise temperate
We zone out indoors
Hibernate with books and tea
and poems to remind:
“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Photos by Sandra Johnson of Into The Light Adventures. I highly recommend you visit her blog filled with excellent nature photography. Here’s the link: https://intothelightadventures.com/


47 thoughts on “October Inventory

  1. Over the past week, I’d been jotting down (also known as typing into my phone) observations about the season. After reading Rebecca Budd’s inspiring blog post titled Autumn Plans & Winter Reads, I gathered these impressions together this morning and wrote my first, truly from scratch, fresh poem in years. You might appreciate my enthusiasm after reading this wonderful post found here: https://ontheroadbookclub.com/2020/10/27/autumn-plans-winter-reads/

  2. Silvia Lia Leigh, MD says:

    Winter is coming. Spring is not far behind. Each season with its colors… God knows the end from the beginning!

  3. Mary Jo – may I recite this poem? You have captured the nuances of one season slipping gently into another and how there is always movement and never a vacuum. Your ability to bring readers into your world is a wonderful gift. I was with you feeling the “frigid blast” and smelling the “musty pungent fragrance.” For me, autumn is a symbol for nostalgia, of looking back and taking “one final jaunt into the green and blue reflection.” I laughed out loud when I read “Expat Canadian geese foolishly form their V’s then land again in futility.” Our Canadian geese have a migratory pattern from Olympic Village and Granville Island to the far distance of Stanley Park, some 3 miles away. I am beyond excited that we inspire and encourage each other. I was reading an article about how creativity is heightened within a community, which has been confirmed by how the world is learning to connect within a virtual milieu. Humanity will always find a way to connect because we are at our best when we participate within a compassionate community. Last thought – I will be pairing your poem with organic “Maritime Breakfast” which comes from the Maritime provinces of Canada. Tea is on – come on over!

    • I would be honored to have you read this poem, Rebecca! And paired with a tea besides!! That you pick up on the humor and word play in my poems is doubly gratifying. It’s so lovely to be part of a compassionate and creative community. Thanks for the invite…I’ll be over shortly 🙂

  4. Reading your beautiful poem brings back memories of English autumns and the comforting feeling of mellowness as we settled our bodies and minds in readiness for winter, the precursor of Spring. Living in Florida, I really miss the changing of the seasons. Thanks for helping me to fondly reminisce for a while as I sit outside in my summer dress and sandals. 😘

  5. Your take on the season is lovely. You make so many images clear in my mind. I also liked your newest poem about grafitti ~ So many words about humanity need sharing right now!

  6. Courtnay Malo says:

    This is beautiful poetry, and it’s like a tiny window into your personality – humor, optimism, resilience, and insight all rolled into a poetic, gentle, and contemplative soul. I love autumn best, and you did it justice!

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