Autumn Paintbrush

Leaves are falling somewhere

On a shady, wooded road

Where blue forget-me-nots and daisies play

Courted by the sleepy drone of bees

Along a white shoulder line


A crimson splash of maple, the yellow spackles of alder

Painting colorful patterns on a grey asphalt canvass

With the light hand on a brush of wind, they are sculpted

Into spirals and whorls that decorate bare autumn soil

Where chanterelles  and morel will soon be hiding


The river that had whispered through warm summer days

Is beginning to mumble and toss about her stony bed

Swollen on the feasting of mountain rain

She becomes restless, reaches, ever more to the sea

Washing sand castles and stone piles from the shores

Where salmon had finally come to die

Cleansing and combing the long sweet grass

Where she will leave baubles for driftwood prospectors


Grouse are surely calling in the soggy cottonwood groves

Along trails where deer pass on their way to the valley

And eagles are presiding over a river of mist

That creeps up from the low lands


Somewhere, I’m sure, cold puddles are sprawling in the moss

Reflecting brooding skies, and the dark flash of a crow’s wing

But not here in the islands, where trade winds still blow fair

Spinner dolphins play with the boat’s white prow

Plumeria blooms oblivious of mountain frost

And the only sign of the encroaching season

Is my basil plant going happily to seed


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