Autumn’s clock

In the wheel of Earth’s years
we watch as Autumn’s clock

Tick-tocks in tiny goldenrod
September petal’d seconds

Frosty trees bleed scarlet hours
through veins of October leaves

Amber minutes wither and fall
drifting in November’s breeze

And the silent strike of midwinter
turns December’s snowflake gears

—Terri Guillemets

Leaves for the Dead

I who have loved the sound of leaves
Restlessly writhing into speech
Desire that to my silent grave
Only leaves shall reach.

So I who walked above the ground,
And leaves that danced before the sun
May meet below to form one dust
And in the earth be one.

When the last wind has stripped the boughs
Some autumn, go out anywhere
To any tree, and look beneath
The leaves:  I may be there.

—Paul Engle, 1929