Friday, October 22, 2010

The Book of Autumn

"Is not this the true romantic feeling --
not to desire to escape life,
but to prevent life from escaping you?"

Thomas Wolfe (1900 - 38)
great American novelist
gone too soon

Wolfe has described exactly how I feel about the full moon!
How can I stop it from escaping me?

One day, when I gather all of my favorite
fall poems and pictures into a collection,
I shall entitle it The Book of Autumn
and include the following introspective and
near - prophetic poem:

Listening in October

In the quiet house
a lamp is burning
where the book of autumn
lies open on a table.

There is tea with milk
in heavy mugs,
brown raisin cake, and thoughts
that stir the heart
with the promises of death.

We sit without words,
gazing past the limit
of fire, into the towering

There are silences so deep
you can hear
the journeys of the soul,
enormous footsteps
downward in a freezing earth.

(ellipses in original; emphasis added)

by John Haines (b. 1924)
American poet and professor
Poet Laureate of Alaska, 1969 - 1973


  1. Oh, wow. I like that poem: "...thoughts that stir the heart with promises of death."

  2. I love the Listening in October poem. It explains exactly how I feel today.