Autumn Leaves

Yay! The new poems from the last Writer’s Challenge are here! The challenge (see Nov. 4th’s post) was to write a piece using these three lines:

The autumn leaves

don’t fall

they jump.

As always the writers who contributed did a fantastic job making something meaningful out of a sliver of an idea. I am so impressed! As always, if you wish to send one in, it’s not too late. Do it!

Winter nights get really pushy
They show up early to parties
And stay way too long
They take over, wrapping arms around windows
Chilling partygoers to the bone
Suddenly, we outstay welcome
Not wanting to deal with winter head on, alone
No coffee, more wine please
Where did everybody go?
Taxi? No! I’m just around the corner
Last call, bundled
When will it be warm again?
Will it be warm again?
A frozen walk home interrupted by visions
Spring beckons; another reality
But the thaw seems impossible,
Saved for a new life altogether
Spring belongs to fresh souls
A new pair of wide, baby eyes
With a neck too soft to support the head
A scene on the other side of glass
Blooms and crawls with life
Peering in, we, with strong, but aching necks
Squint at the bright color,
Where are my glasses?
A bio-sphere bubble
A bright sunny place, out of the reach
Of blue, longing fingertips
Our quiet tapping on spring’s shell gets louder
The snow drifts burying us up to our noses
Fists tight with fear and cold, pound then stop
Helplessly marveling at the buds, shoots and tendrils
The bursting green leaves wink at us through the glass
They are on to the joke
While we have missed the set-up, the twist
Never mind the punch line
The trees know things
Leaves understand the score and do what needs doing
they see that grren is temporary
red and brown looms
The autumn leaves
Don’t fall from the trees
They jump
Denying winter the terrible game of keep away
They leave well before the host starts brewing coffee and hints
And we grudgingly learn to step around patches of ice
-Mary Pierce Armstrong

Frozen Heartbreak

The autumn leaves and winter approaches

Roses freeze and lakes become ice

My heart becomes still

I cannot feel

My lungs don’t jump with the air that they need

To breathe.

I feel like a flower that grew from no seed

My emotions don’t stand, they fall.

Then, in the end

I don’t feel anything
Nothing at all.

-L. Franco (Ms. Franco is one of my students)

Skin darkens and cracks
Firm areas relax
Particularly the rump

Liver spot appears
Getting along in years
Becoming quite a frump

Makeup between wrinkles
Cataracts twinkle
Mascara in a clump

Hair looking wintered
Walking cane splintered –
Ambulate with a thump.

Kleenex up your sleeve
Knowing how to weave
Aging is not for chumps!

No wonder autumn leaves
Don’t fall from the trees,
Instead they choose to jump!

-Alisa Richman

The autumn leaves don’t fall
They jump
Sailing the currents of the air
Pirouetting through space
Handspring flip-flop twist

They all do it
Reliable lemniscate* of life
Compulsion that defies logic
Leafy lemmings

They are astronauts
Deep sea divers
Leaping into the unknown

At that moment

when the umbilical cord snaps
What are they thinking?

Realizing too late you ran the red light
Oven hissing in the kitchen, lights off, doors locked
Where’s the baby – she was just here
Just this once, it will be all right
Bullets heard, but as yet unseen

Have they lost all inhibitions?
Drunken pilots in the cockpit
Shaking for the camera
Lampshades on their heads
Flinging and singing, “I can fly, I can fly!”

Is it wanderlust?
I’m root-bound, they complain
Gotta be free
Escape the family tree
Leave this old stump
Drifting like a dandelion
To see the world

Are they tired of hanging on?
So weary
And then the winter comes
So cold
Can’t take another never-ending winter
Jump and get it over with

Or maybe

All they are thinking is
Right here, right now
In a moment when the sun glosses their veins
An invisible pathway glows



The autumn leaves
Red yellow brown green
wait wait wait
don’t fall from the trees
Red yellow brown green
wait wait wait

they jump!

-Christina Morris

I can see the oak quiver in the distance.
The boys ripple off into the air.
When will it be our turn?
The maple stands empty.
Every branch stripped.
Will it be our turn next?
A cry rustles through our top layer.
Voids appearing through the flutter
Is it our turn?
The line at the end dissappears.
Empty spaces rush toward me.
It’s my turn.

– Chi Toh

The falling leaves

Like multicolor fireworks

Offer their last bang

To the season

-Elle Bebe

Thank you to everyone who played along! I love this stuff!

*Look it up, why don’tcha?