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Old Sentinel

This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:

 

Quietly, he watched

With clear, beady eye

Toward snow-freckled landscape,

Ghostly, grey sky.

 

Frigid wind knifed

Into feathery bone.

Old Canadian Goose

Now completely alone.

 

Southern fly-ways beckoned

With their annual ring.

Members of his flock

Disappeared on strong wing.

 

Too old and weak,

No strength left to fly.

Instinct forbade him

To even try.

 

He honked farewell tiredly

With his remaining might,

As last departing stragglers

Disappeared from sight.

 

Primary flight feathers,

Ragged, unpreened —

No protection from freezing wind,

Unchecked, unscreened.

 

Soon white snow

Would blanket the land,

Bringing silent death

To hapless animal and man.

 

From gosling to maturity,

Years long since gone,

He would die where he hatched

On this small lake he knew as home.

 

 

 

Autumn Leaves

This poem comes from Autumn Leaves:

 

Father Time once again waves his wand,

Signaling season’s change.

Warm, sunny days surrender quietly

To oncoming snow and rain.

 

Leaves of multicolor profusion

Play tag upon the wind.

Her arms spread wide, Mother Earth

Awaits patiently for their flight to end.

 

Carried haphazardly by the winds

And scattered all around.

The winds die down, while leaves still fall,

Fluttering to the ground.

 

Mother Earth nurtured the trees that gave leaves birth,

Now she will stop and rest.

The leaves will decompose

In time to nurture Mother Earth.

 

Tree limbs now bare

Move in the wind like long but skinny whips.

Words take shape

And blend on the poet’s lips.

 

When leaves do fall and the wild goose calls

Backward from the fold,

Brings foreboding melancholy

Creeping o’er my soul.

 

Unknown to many,

Father Time has his secret reasons.

Falling leaves are just one way

He signals the changing seasons.

 

My life’s companion strolls beside me

Through the crisp, cold breeze.

We both exalt in season’s change

As we crunch through Autumn Leaves.

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