Autumn at the Happy Hermitage: ghazal verses

by Elizabeth Cunningham

the leaves are falling, the ridge rising into view

I know it was there all along, but now I see

the still blue wave, and the rocks invisible still

silent behemoths veined with quartz, seamed with thin dirt

enough for moss, lichen, fern, and small determined trees

revealed when I climb to the crest of this slow wave

birds light in bare ash trees, arrange themselves like leaves

leaf-shaped with their folded wings, they sit dark and still

till they lift their wings, leave the ash trees bare again

the hickory nuts knock at our roof, leaves fly

golden on warm, grey air, soft as our grey cat’s fur

crows and ravens outcry the wind that carries them

the mist is a river moving over mountains

now and then the sun gleams through lighting wings and leaves

I am here solid, porous, rooted, blown, alive

in a green field, backed by the russet wood, Monkshood

purple cowls atop tall stalks that waited till now

to yield these shocking blooms and skew Fall’s color scheme

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