Why does the October full moon
seem so lonely, yet so bright?
Why does her luminous light
seem so still, without flicker?
Why does solitary moonlight
fill my dreams with deep mysteries
keeping me awake at night?
Why does the moon remind me
there is more to life
than what the sun can show?
Why do such questions
linger inside me
like hungry grey wolves
scouring the woods for prey?
Why is there no rest, until
I make peace with this October moon?
The woods outside my window are war-torn.
Filled with red, orange, and yellow soldiers,
Fighting with each other, and themselves
over who can standout most gloriously.
A perennial war they fight,
from rounded treetops,
through jagged branches,
then to the dark moist ground below.
There’s no winning the battle of color.
All pushing, shoving, name-calling in vain.
Eventually all leafy soldiers brown,
and the snow hushes their clamoring.
Meandering, painted forest all about,
Reds, yellows, golds, oranges,
Nature’s magical extravaganza,
coaxing us deeper within.
Autumn, screaming vibrant color,
Her sweet voice, ringing in our ears,
With gentle fingers, plucking harp strings,
enticing leaves to turn their final corner.
Migrating blackbirds overhead,
waving last goodbyes,
tip southward, then disappear,
into streaming white sunlight.
Tempted into submission,
we give her all we have,
Refilled, there is no containing,
what she gives back.
Autumn season, not far away
Colorful leaves on their way
Crimson, yellow, orange and gold
Frost a coming, air so crisp and cold
Summer sun, almost gone
Longer nights until dawn
Red-throated hummingbirds disappear
South they head with winter near
Look back, reflect upon those longer days
Clear fall moon shines bright, white cool rays
Birth and death, all part of one
Seasons join, together run
Stars seem brighter, pitch black sky
God speaks from tree tops oh so high
Harvest comes and it goes
Life’s questions linger, no one knows
Walking, painted forest all about
Reds, yellows, golds, oranges,
Nature’s magical extravaganza
coaxing us deeper within
Autumn, screaming vibrant color
Her sweet voice, ringing in our ears
With gentle fingers, plucking harp strings
enticing leaves to turn their final corner
Migrating blackbirds overhead
waving last goodbyes
tip southward, then disappear
into streaming white sunlight
Tempted into submission
we give her all we have
Refilled, there is no containing
what she gives back
By Faiz Ahmed Faiz
Translated by Naomi Lazard
This is the way that autumn came to the trees:
it stripped them down to the skin,
left their ebony bodies naked.
It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,
scattered them over the ground.
Anyone could trample them out of shape
undisturbed by a single moan of protest.
The birds that herald dreams
were exiled from their song,
each voice torn out of its throat.
They dropped into the dust
even before the hunter strung his bow.
Oh, God of May have mercy.
Bless these withered bodies
with the passion of your resurrection;
make their dead veins flow with blood again.
Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.
Before snow falls
I shall walk barefoot
upon nature’s pastel carpet
of fresh fallen autumn leaves
Just the right place will appear
to park my tired bones, and
soak in fall’s magic
hugging me tenderly
as only a grandmother can
And, before sun sets, just
beyond the faded old barn
I will smile, in warm adoration of life
And once the sun sets
and the moon rises full
I will say in complete satisfaction
I have truly lived
Rust-colored leaves, tumble helplessly
from the big front yard maple tree
Just their time to let go
Stateman-like bluejays, squawk nonstop
Warning all, red-tail hawks circling
eyeing plump mourning doves, in pairs
in the red cherry trees
Two baby garter snakes
wearing bright yellow necklaces
like those girls wear to a debutante ball
writhe on the dusty garage floor
Flowers, enroute back to seeds
Their nectar, still sweet, enticing
monarch butterflies to cling
to their sticky honey
The older man, leaning
against the weathered wooden fence
a spitting image of Robert Frost
casts an approving look my way
I know then, nothing more need be said