Autumn, Part I
The trees whisper, and Autumn awakens my heart,
her ice fingers wrapping around my breaths.
I welcome her into my swell, and she reminds me:
The first bite may rip through warm down feathers,
but my skin will explode in ten thousand joys. The wind blows.
My ancestors’ voices assure me; their whispers echo
through the vale of quaking aspen, and I am released.
Autumn, Part II
The sky closes, and Autumn rains into my heart,
pouring her stakes into seemingly soft smiles.
I did not welcome her, yet she reminds me still:
A heart’s affections mask and unmask until even Heaven
shrugs and steps down to the andante of old thoughts chanting
upon endless grey pavement. This weather will ruin me
unless I swim skyward, and place Heaven back on her shrine.
First published in Bear Creek Haiku. June 2013. Print and online.
Postlogue: I have no doubt my recent love affair with John Keats' "Ode on a Nightingale" has crept into this poem. I also recently came across this Orhan Velli poem in my translation project (an endeavor to improve my Turkish): Güzel Havalar ("Beautiful Weather"). The verb, mahvetmek, which means "to ruin," makes this poem. My translation of Velli's poem follows:
This beautiful weather ruined me,
In weather like this I resigned from my civil service job.
I made a habit of tobacco in weather like this,
I fell in love in weather like this;
In weather like this I even forgot to bring home bread and salt.
My poetry writing sickness always relapsed in weather like this;
This beautiful weather ruined me.