by Amy Lowell
All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.
by Charles Simic
In my great grandmother's time,
All one needed was a broom
To get to see places
And give the geese a chase in the sky.
The stars know everything,
So we try to read their minds.
As distant as they are,
We choose to whisper in their presence.
Take a clock that has lost its hands
For a ride.
Get me a room at Hotel Eternity
Where Time likes to stop now and then.
Come, lovers of dark corners,
The sky says,
And sit in one of my dark corners.
There are tasty little zeroes
In the peanut dish tonight.
Day in Autumn
by Ranier Maria Rilke
Translated by Mary Kinzie
After the summer's yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.
As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness.
Direct on them two days of warmer light
to hale them golden toward their term, and harry
the last few drops of sweetness through the wine.
Whoever's homeless now, will build no shelter;
who lives alone will live indefinitely so,
waking up to read a little, draft long letters,
and, along the city's avenues,
fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.
The Heat of Autumn
by Jane Hirshfield
The heat of autumn
is different from the heat of summer.
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.
One is a dock you walk out on,
the other the spine of a thin swimming horse
and the river each day a full measure colder.
A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover.
Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,
rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser
by color. That’s autumn heat:
her hand placing silver buckles with silver,
gold buckles with gold, setting each
on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,
and calling it pleasure.
Jane Hirshfield, "The Heat of Autumn" from After. Copyright © 2006 by Jane Hirshfield.
Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
by Marjorie Pickthall
Now in the West the slender moon lies low,
And now Orion glimmers through the trees,
Clearing the earth with even pace and slow,
And now the stately-moving Pleiades,
In that soft infinite darkness overhead
Hang jewel-wise upon a silver thread.
And all the lonelier stars that have their place,
Calm lamps within the distant southern sky,
And planet-dust upon the edge of space,
Look down upon the fretful world, and I
Look up to outer vastness unafraid
And see the stars which sang when earth was made.
by Carl Sandburg
The buffaloes are gone.
And those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
Those who saw the buffaloes by thousands and how they pawed the prairie sod into dust with their hoofs, their great heads down pawing on in a great pageant of dusk,
Those who saw the buffaloes are gone.
And the buffaloes are gone.
Source: The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg (Harcourt Brace Iovanovich Inc., 1970)