Anticipating the Fall

Strensall Common. Near York.

A Poem inspired by the artwork of Aasen Stephenson: A leaf carved with the words, ‘Don’t be afraid to Fall…’


I drag my feet up to the woods again,

Long shadow amidst silhouetted trees,

Defeated canopy lies rusting underfoot,

Old leaf embers shiver on the breeze,

As a green stick sapling, I played here,

Climbing up; scrambling through my life,

Navigating days; scraped knees, hopeful heart,

Now, I watch leaves fall, melancholy at their flight.

A spire twists through the frame of naked trees,

Bell strokes mark the passing of the hours,

A wake of solitude follows as they fade,

In this quiet, I hear the last leaf gasp.

    Tugged from monotony with one sharp gust.                                                                      

Finally from it’s industry released,

      Drifts down, for one extraordinary flight                                                                     

Oblivious of those who stand to see.                                              

Tumbling against the setting of the sun,

Glint of gilded amber, dancing; now set free,

    Sways; a parachute of firework spark,

            The joy of colour after a life of green,

For what existence would it be to live,

Without experiencing this final thrill,

Dwelling forever in youth’s foolishness,

Hung up in endless childish frill?

Miss flaunting new synthesis in ball gown gold,                                   

Nor feel the ecstasy of gravity as it flies,

Winged with grace, to the place where it will rest.                                 

Full circle, having lived a life.

It levitates, hovers, waits before it lands,

I hear its melody and understand the song

Take a breath, a moment more to listen,

‘It is not yet done…No, it’s not yet done.’

I hurry home wrapped up against the autumn chill,

Boots kicking through the glorious array,

The last leaf’s song remaining with me still,

And I’m laughing as the sunset slips away.

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