Autumn Audited

The vista unfolds before me
A familiar, though ever-changing picture
Viewed once again from my comfortable niche.
At ease, I sit, pillow surrounded,
Contemplating reflectively
On fall’s stealthy intrusion into this scene,

Albeit early.

Chipmunks and squirrels, legs spinning, lawn ornament style
Cheeks acorn-stuffed, frantically build their winter stocks,

While jays squawk and hawks soar,
Ravens pillage garbage treats, nonchalance inborn;

Hummingbirds sensing winter,
Have taken off in a blur of wings
For southern comfort.
The maples and oaks, flame red
Or patterned in shades of yellow,
Proffer a vibrant palette.
The last hurrah,
Before leaves, wind-driven,
Reluctantly abandon their perches,
Drifting in a death spiral to cover the ground
In a bizarre patchwork quilt, wrinkled in places
As leaves, crisping, curl upwards
Reaching vainly for that comforting, secure branch.
The distant hills draped in a mantle of vermillion and russet

Mock the deep green pines

Who will patiently wait to enjoy an ironic chuckle
When those most brilliant turn stark and grey

As the cold deepens.

Crickets and grasshoppers sing their final arias
To the virtuoso accompaniment
Of leaf blowers bellowing,
Rakes scratching or scraping,

And smouldering fires exuding pungent, leafy scents.

As autumn captures centre stage,
Nature’s plan flows on,
A lingering reminder of our transitory role
In Life’s grand scheme.

Eleanor Kidd