Sunday, September 4, 2016

Beneath the ragged edge of fall--By Carolyn Martin--United States

Beneath the ragged edge of fall,

lagging leaves stain the mossed sidewalks.
Weary, wet, intractable, they’ve lost
the lyric tint of cherry, maple, plum;
the beat of alder, oak, and elm.

They’ll fossil on concrete unless
some poet rakes them into lasting lines
like Letters spelling ‘death’ are not a death
or Nothing is forever just itself.

Previously published in Elohi Gadugi

Carolyn Martin is blissfully retired in Clackamas, Oregon, where she gardens, writes, and plays. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in journals throughout the US and UK, and her second collection, The Way a Woman Knows, was released in 2015 (www.thewayawomanknows). Since the only poem she wrote in high school was red-penciled "extremely maudlin," she is amazed she has continued to write.


  1. Dear Carolyn,
    What a joy encountering this wonderful poem.
    Love "They'll fossil on concrete unless/some poet rakes them in lasting line"
    Thanks so much for sharing.

  2. Thank so much, Michael. And congratulations on your new role in Whispers. What a gift to this community!

  3. Carolyn,
    I am glad that the remark, "extremely maudlin" hasn't stopped you from writing. You have done a job here! Welcome to Whispers if you are new, a warm welcome from me eve if you are not.
    Your new friend,
    David Fox

  4. marvellous poem. the lyric tint of cherry...beautiful.
    the last verse, makes you want to write a poem for them!

  5. I enjoyed your images very much, Carolyn. Thank you for sending Whispers your poetry.

  6. Carolyn, nicely done. I enjoyed "Beneath the ragged edge of fall." I especially love the way your words create clear imagery. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (

  7. Dear Carolyn: Your poem fits exactly the description of Whispers at the top of the page
    Opening the soul with a flowing tapestry of words. Your leaves in all their beautiful shades now immortal in your beautiful poem. Regards, Suzanne

  8. Suzanne, what a lovely insight. When our leaves start to turn and fall out here in Oregon this autumn, I'll think of your words. Thank you!