Soul As Big As Autumn | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Another older poem…based on an overheard conversation, and then what I “saw” as I looked up…

I saw her, hair caught,
transfixed on dancing
wild breezes that lifted,
poofed, primped and pinched
braids and bangs and barettes and her eyes
lit with that autumn afternoon fading fire
gleaming from behind the clouds
carrying water for Miss Autumn in Her sudden rush and approach.

Source: Soul As Big As Autumn | Charissa’s Grace Notes

Sometimes In Fall

sometimes in Fall
when the mist is just right
floating, hanging in light
you can make out a wall

a rampart extends
from the Back of Beyond
shouting of a far place
that is ever so near

and if you simply walk
walk right thru that deft arch
on your light tippytoes
you can just about touch

the glowery stem
of the flowery Rose
at the Center of all…

sometimes in Fall

Of Rain On Rooftops

and it is in night…
like a babe in fresh blankets
snuggled and seeing,
quiet and jumping

in jammies with footies
singing of safety,
hot chocolate and nibbles,
then raindrops on rooftops
silver tin foil lightning

slashing thru thick dark air
that quivers and tears
then closes again
with thunderclap rolling
and rain steady hissing
down quiet and soothing

and shushing and rushing
and we settle, snuggle
and Autumn is come

to quiet our soul
and gladden
our hearts

In Lonely Woods

I walk alone in lonely woods
fading from fall to winter snows
moving from the warmth of home
to wander lost and barren
I wonder as I move from tree
to tree and touch the scratchy bark
concealing living wood within
and warm there in the cold
if I can find a home inside
this tree or that one, twisting in
the gloamy air I wander thru
and thus root down to earthMAC_AUG08_ 033But no, this tree is walking still
moving and not going there
stuck here but there and not here
I walk alone in lonely woods.

Irrevocably Loved By God

there dogwood lingers
lost in long and cooling nights
side by side with sassafras
brooding over browning grass

and sumac stands
with red oak and sheds
leaves in broad daylight
while maples paint

in crimsons, scarlets, purples
yellow brush upon the air
and splashed across
the transom of my heart.tumblr_nxd364udX81qat5pio1_500winds and rain come now
and colors muddle, fade to dull
and make their ready to fall down
into the soil dark that croons

and calls them to their fall.
and I am shattered in this fade
of yellow birch and maple red
the flower of spring is there unmade

and frost laments now come in lace
and nibble at my tender face
and precious profound beauty
here and gone and metumblr_nx6vxz9xeX1rum5sfo1_1280that hardest of hues to hold
as my life falls in leaves of days
is here and gone in just a wink
and nothing gold can stand untouched

and how is it, Eternal One
can love so strong and fierce this shade
who passes from the day to night
and fades into the mists?tumblr_nwyhsqnAN61rf0rtjo1_1280



Waiting For The Winter Drums

Blood Red Sunsets smothered by the sea
Parting birds flying south in songs of sorrow
Deep sad hymns are birthed deep within me
sung by longing winds unto tomorrow…tumblr_nw9z5u6IqP1r2zs3eo1_500The hawk screams and jumps,
grabs clawfuls of fading blue sky,
rips them loose from the fabric
of the dimming day…and then
away…While the red alder sees and sheds tears
in gold showers of dry rustly leaves
that spin and sigh and softly sing
a falling lament, a longing ode
to summer past and gone…Image 001All is falling upon the cooling soil

waiting for the winter drums

waiting for the winter drums…c4738d643c7e7cbc5e7ddd6e4e7114c8

A Morning Phase

It’s a Morning Phase I’m in here,
walking in fogs and mists
thru familiar places long past
and gone but glimmering…

high above
in shrouded skies
wrapped in what?

Funereal splendour?
Swaddling clothes?
I can’t tell which
but then again
does it really
matter?tumblr_nx3vvj8fiS1simprco1_400They signify
the same.
And I pass
along the path
tumblr_nv9g3546sE1sfm44so1_1280dirt crunching
scrunching under
my trodding feet,
my padding feet
my tramping feet

looking for home

it’s a

My Coffee Speaks To Trees

it was a whisper soft, it was a song
at my neck’s nape i felt it trill along,
the answering conversation swirling by
my cheek in double time, so fleet, so spry,

and dancing round the rim of my red mug
and steaming coffee, rich and fragrant there
and laughing with the sounds come in the air.
i realized my coffee speaks to trees!


it listens to the message in their leaves
and steams its answer back in song, relieves
the longing of the root, the trunk, the bees
just bumbling sleepily along with ease.

what did they say, i wondered, so i sipped
and into that community i slipped
and heard the leaves, the gossip of their tongues
and saw the wonder of those fronds so young

just wondering what were they meant to wear
when autumn came, what would the color be
that each would take upon their limber self?
what dress?  what blouse would scamper from Her shelf?

beautiful raiment, heaven sent and free
for each leaf to receive, to wear…and me?
I sat…and sipped…and marveled in the day
that I discovered this small secret way

of beans, hot water, roots and branch and bees
and leafy giggly gossipping ballet…
a secret language, dance, a brilliant play
and I now know my coffee speaks to trees.tumblr_nrklaeno7F1roirddo1_1280


In The Dusky Rose Glow of a Summer Evening

In the dusky rose glow of a summer evening
She held my heart in her hand
and held my hand in her heart
and held my eyes in her forever.

I had placed my heart so tender there
and given it free in moonlight shining on her hair
while all around us silence sang of lovers in the night
And we alone were there and swimming in Love’s magic light

She looked at me as solemn as the owl standing guard
Her breath upon my cheek a sonnet of gravest import
And it did shine there shielding me within its towering fort
My heart safe in her hand, my heart so broken, torn and scarred.

She smiled, she took my heart into her mouth like bread
She swallowed without chewing it to keep it safe from harm
It moved and then it snikked in place so perfect and she said
She’d keep it safe within her as Love’s everlasting charm

Oh Love, to keep my broken heart safe you have shadowed me
Within your care and kindness always underneath your tree
As summer became autumn, autumn winter, then comes spring
It’s in the endless summer of your love I always sing.

In the dusky rose glow of a summer evening
She held my heart in her hand
and held my hand in her heart
and held my eyes in her forever.


Only Winter Really Knows

That last leaf, on that dry branch
scratching at grey skies and digging for rain,
digging in my heart for seeds of grief
buried so deep.

What is it about the last one?
Leaf, apple, pine cone?
Winds rake and tug, greedily scooping prizes
sweet, tart, bristley, floatey…

but there always are those hangers on tenacious,
and never saying die…
or is it that they cannot do it? Say die?
or even “dead”.

Is it that they refuse
to let go? Or is it
that they cannot?
Let go?

And here is the killer:  some people think they are resilient
and full of perseverance and persistence,
and some people think they are noble
and full of loyalty and loose liberty.

But I wonder if they are
just not capable, if they are
just crippled by their
inability to let go and move on?

I know how many days have come,
winds blowing, raking and pawing at me lusty,
unwanted doggy beasts, knocking me loose
and then away and disappearing.

I know how many thrusts, rooting have picked me over
and my secrets tumbling dead and colorful in air
away to dirt but I left lonely, hanging unrequited there
and flapping solitary in the winds of shame.

But there are still some (leaves, secrets, treasures)
still hanging on and unable to let go,
adorned in funeral robes dolorous
and hued in autumn splendor.

Most see them as emblems, medals,
battle spoils dearly won and worn…
but they are just proof
of my weaknesses and loss

and inability to quit,
to let go and enter
into that towering
still White transition called


which, disguised as death
to frighten all assailants,
holds my dreams and hopes and losses
all in trust and buried deep in wombs
of merciful becoming masquerading
as cold tombs silent, dark and numbing,


who holds my heart gripped
in her frosty kiss desperate,
longing for her last gasp
before presenting me
to the sprites of spring and then
the suns of summer.

The last one…there.
map, marking ways
hidden and secret to find
my deepest treasures,

or medal, memory of moments
living and filthy with love
long ago so bold and given over now
to the grave so lonely and cold.

I guess only Winter
really knows and will proclaim
when She calls roll and
the Final Thaw begins.


Calligraphic Gesture

Still and quiet sits the morning soft in drizzle,
shadow shades shroud drowsy trees lulled by turning leaves
singing of the coming great descent…
Clouds cling low and skulk about as mists,
as fogs, as wisps and scraps of rainy lace
over Autumn’s aged hallowed face,

and she lays still,
lines, marks and comments made undone,
unmade each day one by one
until she is unmarked, undrawn,
unmasked her surface still and flat
mysterious unasked, her tranquil secrets told,
and then retracted, written and redacted
as days grow short and night walks
in smoky peace longer in the stillness,
lingers fragrant in the moment
and into morning coffee.

My mind, it too is still like Autumn,
and yearns to walk in Autumn’s graceful backwards glance,
her slippered foot fall soft and earnest in her dance,
it reaches for my heart’s desirous dipper to pour out…what?

Words…tears…love…me, yes. Me…my heart’s dipper
pours me out like waters into Water
and then those ripples run,
those ripples push like still wind against
the placid growing unmarked surface…

and I push off neat and quick and skim
across her glory fading into stillness,
my heart my skiff, my words my oars,
my poem my tribute there and gone.

My heart’s hieroglyphics stutter,
eternal and undying until they swoon
and into slumber they are flying
to be swallowed once more into her bosom,
until she wakes again and my heart rises up again
from deep within her waters running ever,
I wake my poem cunning, fleet and clever

to row again, to draw again
my quick calligraphic gesture
to signify eternal her bright blue
beautiful vesture


Soul As Big As Autumn

“People choose what they want,
but do they always want what they choose?”

This question floated to me
on the grey water-laced wind
across the busy square filled with
lunchers and loungers, and orange clad
crossing guards.

It caught at my ear and clung there, leaf
clinging for dear life to the gutter grate
to hold out against gravity and the mass of
watery opinion that we should
all rush down and away.

I saw her, hair caught,
transfixed on dancing
wild breezes that lifted,
poofed, primped and pinched
braids and bangs and barettes and her eyes
lit with that autumn afternoon fading fire
gleaming from behind the clouds
carrying water for Miss Autumn in Her sudden rush and approach.

Her friend was eating a PB&J, and nodding,
and I was knowing suddenly
this tableau played out
on that milling stage of common strangers
every day…together they would walk,
our prophetess of Autumn, our herald
lifted high to purposes Platonic and ideal…
and our girl “Monday-thru-Friday”
whose job and pleasure was to
listen to things that sounded like winds in mountain crags
or in castle eaves, and were just as understandable.

But they made her feel alive,
those windswept high and wild sounds,
made her aspire to truly enjoy that PB&J!!
And she knew that she would
ever always choose
to be with her friend,
and want it too…

…for her friend? OH!
Body, like the mountain
Heart, like the ocean
Mind, like the sky…

and Soul as big as Autumn
in all Her Glory



A Humble Fall Arrangement

Ear cocked and loaded with listen (for you, for the air
moving before you like ladies, maidens of this misty fall,
of reds and oranges, yellows, fiery golds clawed from that
pale fading blue summer sky by the rakey-fingers of trees
and hung out to dry in their leaves)…

my table happy with me, as I have set its favorite
plate, and cup and saucer (blue also fading to cream-white
and chipped, with better eye for placement than Pollack,
and of course that pitcher cold and wet
with thick and sweet cool creamer)

beside each place are pastries, made
by me (my oven is still warm, still glowing with
brief bread memories oh so heavenly,
the presence of yeast and sugar, flour and fruit
and then pleasant exhalations and sighs of fresh hot bread)

I love this humble fall arrangement,
and the bracing air arriving
(along with you, completing the placing
there, across from me, and our hot pot of tea
singing there twixt you and me)



…and to my heart’s hearth draw nigh

Frost nipped early today, the foxy devil!
Thirsty after his long nap, he stirred and snuck
slinking thru leaves who are yet waving to throngs
gathered and garlanded with greens and tinged gold.

The drunkard! Can’t keep his greedy hands off!

You okay?  His touch cold and alien is but shadow
and I had spied his sneaky darting and weasly weaving
so I piled some woven glowy cloaks…and mittens
(oh mittens, those wings of joyous season)

Here…drink this.  It’s hot and giving hope!

Follow me, I marked the way with green leaves and hid the gold
so frost would not ken our road (besides, he is rolled up over there,
drunk on his early indulgence and feverish grabbing of your heart!
Nay, I marked our path back over brooks and meadows to be Autumn’s courtyard

Our cottage is there…come in…and to my heart’s hearth draw nigh.


heart always, ddh…heart always

Present in the Vanishing


And I endure, face forward
into steely storms of bracing
crystal whiplash raindrops.

Whirlwinds tempests, tendrils,
tongues, tempos swirling in,
ride and run like tides.
Face to face I stand in place
free in myself but chained to me.
And I endure, face forward.tumblr_mom8cmnXcY1re9wz2o1_500

Shall I dance,
invited to Solstice morphing
and spin, silky and gushing
wet my heart essence to
caress this creature?
Encase and bury her
inside a tomb of rest,
A womb of becoming?

Every blow,
every storm
strips me clean,
disappears me,
reveals me
Transforms me,
calls me,
uncoccoons me
Until I endure,
face forward.tumblr_m8yw6eN5ow1rsu7ylo1_500