The wild November come at last
Beneath a veil of rain;
The night wind blows its folds aside –
Her face is full of pain.
The latest of her race, she takes
The Autumn’s vacant throne:
She has but one short moon to live,
And she must live alone.
A barren realm of withered fields,
Bleak woods, and falling leaves,
The palest morns that ever dawned;
The dreariest of eves.
It is no wonder that she comes,
Poor month! With tears of pain;
For what can one so hopeless do
But weep, and weep again?
~Richard Henry Stoddard “November”
Leaves wait as the reversal of wind
comes to a stop. The stopped woods
are seized of quiet; waiting for rain
bird & bug conversations stutter to a
…the rain begins to fall. Rain-strands,
thin slips of vertical rivers, roll
the shredded waters out of the cloud
and dump them puddling to the ground.
Whatever crosses over
through the wall of rain
changes; old leaves are
now gold. The wall is
continuous, doorless. True,
to get past this wall
there’s no need for a door
since it closes around me
as I go through.
~Marie Ponsot from “End of October”
I reluctantly bid October good-bye to face forward
into a darkening November.
Summer is mere memory now;
all color drained from
leaves fallen, dissolving
in frost and rain.
There’s no turning around now
that the clock has fallen back.
We commit our stumbling feet to the path
that trudges toward winter,
silenced and seized
by the relentless momentum of doorless darkness.
There appears no escape hatch.
Yet when the light rises on the hills, even briefly,
I feel a veil lift enough
that I am able to see
far beyond my reach.
The horizon extends on and on forever
and I only then I know
I will endure another winter.