Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Autumn's Last Leaf--By James Rasmusson--United States

Autumn's Last Leaf

Before the biting arctic wind
autumn's last leaf helplessly clings.
Other leaves, less tenacious
lie wet and matted
beneath the season's first snowfall.

Nothing shows of summer's pointillistic canvas
save the occasional fir tree and bramble.
Winter's pen and ink simplicity waxes gray and white
to show the landscape's ebb and flow
in chiaroscuro light.

In the cold of winter the luckless suffer
the impatient perish,
yet here and there
the tracks of bird and rabbit
show how life goes on.

If autumn's last leaf were to weather wind and ice
and snow and feel again the tepid balm of April-spring,
it would surely come to naught
for nothing dead can cling
before the swelling of a tender bud.

James began writing in the 1960’s and immediately showed a love for seasonal, humorous, and philosophical poetry. In the late 70’s, he became an ardent photographer and soon found that the two artistic mediums cross pollinated each other. West Michigan is an art Mecca with over 100 galleries and art camps with Jim residing in the lovely coastal town of Holland, Michigan. A practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga since 1972, his art is an expression of his lifetime love affair with nature and his quest for truth. James is the winner of many awards in both photography and poetry including the 2005 Shadow Poetry 5th biannual chapbook competition. The artist says he likes to underscore the abstract and tease the mind and be ever alert for juxtapositions that express irony, absurdity, and poignancy, desiring for people to feel both tension and resolution in his compositions.


  1. James, pathetically but, humorously, your first verse reminds me of me in that I totally "dread winter"............. the verse seems to be quite a metaphor about me. Smile.......... you must'a been peekin', eh? Seriously, though, a great poem about this beautiful season with all the great color and imagery and flow of natural happenings as we all prepare for winter to go with a great imagination from a fine writer such as yourself! It is always awesome to read you here on this on-line venue of Whispers. Sheri - www.poetryandbeyond.net

  2. Like the hope in the last two lines - 'but nothing dead can cling before the swelling of a tender bud'.

  3. kiwis-soar - but, yet, there is a certain paradox there that would argue there is indeed a certain "clinging" to life and at times that would be "before the swelling of a tender bud".................. me thinks ...............

  4. Very nice descriptive and tender poem. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (www.tgbtgpublictions.com)

  5. I love the visuals and the flight of thought they took you on. As if you were thinking out loud;
    Thanks for a wonderful poem to read