The Grieving of Autumn

Be tender toward your own yearnings,
When the grieving of autumn returns.
When the brown leaves are piled for their burnings
And the frost has corrupted the ferns.

Farewells from each flying flock calling
Stir remembrance of hopes who have fled,
While a ballet of twirling leaves falling
Seem reminders of promises dead.

There’s regret in the mists of an autumn,
Though its colors are burnished and gold.
Leaves crumble the moment we’ve caught them.
Our gardens are brittle and cold.

In our spring early dreams are as eager
As the flowers of summer are fair.
But for hearts whose fruition is meager?
Any harvest is only despair.

When the wind’s blowing fiercer and colder
And all our sweet cider is pressed,
Our faces and feelings are older,
And not every table is blessed.

We’ve dug our potatoes and onions,
Our squash on its shelf in a row.
The school year returns for the young ones
Whose hope is just starting to grow.

Our fall is an intricate teacher,
Its lesson’s apparent and true:
That spirit’s the part of a creature
An autumn can never undo.

A spectrum of flames are its bowers,
‘Til brilliance rescinds into gray.
Chrysanthemum comforts and flowers
When roses have withered away.

When the verdure that dies in November
Lies under the snow-frozen sod,
Let grievers have faith and remember
How spring is responding to God.

For nature is never more tender
Than the first sprout that peeps through a crack.
Creation’s an infinite mender.
Our flowers and swallows come back.



Peggy Everett is a blind poet who lives in the rural Pacific Northwest with her spouse and runs a small nonprofit for poor pets. She has been published in The Society of Classical Poets, The Catholic Circle, Saint Austin Review, Lothlorien, and Sparks of Calliope.

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13 Responses

  1. jd

    A beautiful poem, Peggy, just right for
    the coming of autumn which does, at least
    for this reader, have its tinge of grief.
    Thank you.

  2. Paul Freeman

    The melancholy atmosphere of autumn is well captured and sustained, until turning to hopefulness in the end.

    Amongst many fine lines, ‘… the frost has corrupted the ferns’ is the first one that caught my eye in your poem.

    I know it’s a small thing, but I felt ‘the’ in the penultimate stanza’s first line should sling its hook.

    Thanks for the read, Peggy. And Autumn! Bring it on!

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    The careful intertwining of feminine and masculine endings in these quatrains is expertly done.

  4. Yael

    This is among of the best seasonal change poems I’ve read so far. I love the vivid nature imagery and how it is woven together with the human emotional responses to the seasonal changes. Great job!

  5. Cheryl Corey

    Peggy, I’ve learned that other poets throughout history, such as Homer and Milton, dealt with low vision and/or blindness. It’s wonderful that you’re not letting vision impairment stand in the way of composing poetry. Keep up the good work!

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Peggy, I am in awe of your poem. Its craft, its imagery, its beauty, and the layers of wistfulness and wisdom in a message that steers the melancholic “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” to the miracle of Spring. Creation is indeed an “infinite mender”. Your closing stanza is a glorious gift of hope when leaves (and tears) are falling. Thank you!

  7. LTC Roy E. Peterson

    Beautiful poem, Peggy with great sensory awareness and innate intertwining of the seasons with the human frailties, prayers and hope!

  8. Cynthia Erlandson

    I echo what has been said above, and also wanted to mention a couple of very clever slant rhymes that I really enjoyed: autumn/caught them, and onions/young ones.

  9. Jeff Eardley

    Peggy, a lovely piece of writing as over here in England we slide into a most uncertain Autumn. (“Autumn” and “caught them” is a great rhyme by the way) I have read this a few times now and it just gets better. Thank you.

  10. David Watt

    This is a beautiful poem, Peggy. Your description of Autumn is clear and crisp to match the season.


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