songs of sorrow.
picked up and carried away
to somewhere else
the dying grass
of the winter to come.
Leaves = Potato Chips
No matter how you look at it,
Leaves in autumn
Are just nature's potato chips.
Outside my house
No not like petals they aren’t delicate
they go with the flow
they are good listeners
they speak every language
observing how other things work
they are patient with their growth
and don’t fall for anyone
they are adaptable to change
you can see it on their skin
their wise age transforming them
they sacrifice and leave home
so another can grow in their place
sometimes they feed others who may be hungry
they know appreciation because seasons are short
some of them have the prettiest neighbors
but they don’t need a consort
they take a risk to learn how to fly
they have heaps of faith
they are immortal because they
let go of when their ready
do it all again come spring time.
There is Hope in the Depths of Despair.
The garden was isolated, in a lonely corner of a street on Khayaban-e-Roomi. I had driven all the way there to take a breath, to take it all in. I couldn’t breathe. My breath had stopped in the middle of my throat and I felt like someone was choking me hard, cutting off my air supply completely. Painful sobs made their way up my throat and I let it all out. I cried for what seemed like hours in the car. Anyone who must have seen me would imagine I had lost my senses. Maybe I had, I didn’t know. All I knew was that they were gone; my parents were gone... Images flashed through my mind: my mother lying near my bed, my father kneeling next to her. ‘They could be sleeping,’ the voice said, ‘don't wake them up!’
The last thing I heard were sirens ringing in my ears and strange hands touching me all over. I don’t quite remember at what point I shrugged them all off, made my way towards my husband’s car and sped off into the distance.
Rust leaves crunched beneath my furry boots as I made my way towards the little garden, large bumblebees buzzing about the bright marigolds. It was a sight to behold, this garden. I always felt it held secrets of its own, having stood around for nearly a decade and still not having lost its earthy charm. Perhaps I was under a spell. Mum and Dad’s passing had cast a depressing blanket over everything I had hoped and dreamt of.
My gaze fell upon the sweet daisies, growing in a despondent corner of the garden. They looked simple and endearing, as they grew mutely under the shade of the banana tree, harsh sunlight cutting the plant into strips. Shielding my eyes from the piercing rays of the sun, my gaze climbed up the length of the tree. Its large, elephant-like leaves flapped around lazily in the wind and a bunch of small, yellow bananas stuck firmly underneath the leaves almost hidden from sight.
An eastern tiger swallowtail caught my eye as it fluttered across the garden, daintily perching itself atop the tea-pink petals of the champa flowers, growing on several different branches protruding from a rather thin trunk. As I walked closer, beautiful floral notes engulfed my senses and sent me deeper into the haven of thoughts I had created within my own mind.
The amaltaas tree was compelling to look at for a lack of better words. Its bark was a rough chocolate brown, dappled with spots of warm sunlight in various places. Among the vibrant, lime green leaves hung intricately woven strands of golden yellow flowers, that reminded me of chandeliers, fresh grapes and gleaming light bulbs, all thrown in a box and shaken up together. Thin, dark tubes descended from amongst the flowers, swaying silently in the autumn breeze.
I wished with all my heart that I could stay just a little while longer but I had to go to the hospital and sign away the documents. Any fragment of peace or joy I may have had inside of my heart at that moment dwindled away, only to be replaced with an empty hollow. I turned my back to the garden and walked off towards the car. Nothing ever stays forever, does it?
Like biting an apple.
In the first cool breeze.
The subtle, natural sound.
Of the first steps on leaves.
Like nature’s confetti.
In the midday sun.
The dried and the dead.
Off the trees they come.
Floating and twirling.
Twisting through air.
Hovering until they hit,
the pavement with care.
I take a bite and take a step.
Crunchy, crispy, clean.
Shedding the dead, to nourish the soil, and grow anew again.
Stubble and Stover
Mist rose over the river at dawn
And hovered to kiss the still water
From the west or south blowing
The mystified wind came and caught her
And spun along winnowing
The mist from the water and lawn
On another day after the sun had flown high
The wind threshed a leaf from its place
To drift to those already stacked in frail spires
When did they fall? Oh, when did they grace
Bare ground with their crackling fire
And bid their adieu to the sky?
In the afternoon golden the wind skips along
Between carpet and drapery of leaves
By the edges of fields where the harvest still grows
While from above come the recitatives
Of the myriad wheeling and gathering crows
In the fullness of black-feathered throng
Even as the wind whispers and tumbles on past
The harvest comes swift on the generous plain
The lost wind will come searching between bereaved stalks
Where once was a crop, only stover remains;
Where life held her bounty, another now walks,
And winter is coming on fast.
Time to leave
pack up and move
get up and go
At first we slowly change
unrecognizable to our past
we switch our shade
become breakable, at last
so we can crack
under the pressure of the world
beneath the weight of heavy boots
and fall apart
with the changing seasons
We tumble lightly
and enter the world surrounding
It is blinded by our newness
our new maturity
our stiff fluidity
our beautiful duplicity
for we are far more than we seem to be
until next season
only a few leaves linger on
the branches of the tree that
stands tall in my backyard
two months ago they were vibrant colors
of yellow and red and orange, only
now they're dull and dirty
devastated that they've faded over time
i tell them how beautiful they are, still
they cling onto the last few days of autumn
knowing that if they finally let go of
their branches, they'll be defeated and
forgotten until next year
the friends of theirs who have long given up
lay on the floor beneath them, mocking
them with change as they have no color left
only a shade of brown that crunches
under the footsteps of the people who await
The Weight of Leaves
Everyone knows the telltale sound of leaves rustling on the ground. Kicked and piled up by small children. Many have fond memories of jumping into piles or throwing them at their friends. But the sound of leaves means something different to me. To me, it means that fall has arrived.
It’s been creeping up on us like a sinking feeling we don’t want to face. We reminisce in the beauties of the oranges and reds all while bundling up to brace the incoming cold.
The world hunches to face the cold and nature celebrates around us. It shakes its burden of leaves upon our feet and tells us it’s ours to deal with now.
Many embrace the change with open hearts and claim the simple joys of pumpkins and holidays. Others dismiss the season and claim it is only a second winter. Either way the leaves crawl their way into our home and into our hearts. Their image is one of fondness and happiness no matter your feeling on fall.
I hope to embrace this change even as I dismay over the loss of the greens and brightness that summer brings. As with fall brings change, and change is something I am ready for. If only I can shed my burdens like the trees.
The Leaf That Is Gone
The green leaf was now red. It later went from red to brown, cracks everywhere. The crackling sound, when the wind came, frightened the small children. As the leaf grew lonely and sad, it fell. It fell from the branch with it’s friends, down and down until it touched the soft grass. One of the children picked it up, examined it, and crunched it. All the remains of the horrible incident was small chunks of dry leaf.