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Fall up or down

Updated: Aug 30, 2020

I love a gray day. The darker the better and as a backdrop to the orange sherbet creamsicle leaves the season becomes a stunning revelation: life’s transitions hold a special beauty and we are here for an instant to notice. We might feel relief in this repeating cycle. We can depend on the unseen to return in the spring; revel in the bare branches that soon will be crackling and clicking together  in the frozen winter air symphony. Bird Feeders and suet for our friends. We will plan to gather in the coming darkness, share stories. Celebrate. I want to list all these reminders. Watch the leaves pile into what will be part of a tree again, later. 

“We are stardust. We are golden” Joni Mitchell

I’d like to share a fall poem hot off the press this morning and some others from past years. I hope you enjoy.   In joy, Kerry Zagarella 

Fall Plan

They all know where they are going

milkweed pod releases

wishes in the breeze

Monarchs dry their wings

stare off 

clinging and pumping

wondering when their flight will



The cries from above are urgent

assembled and orderly

They call to each other

“Stay with us”

All the signs are there

brown grasses promising spring

faded leaves fall

drained of life’s color

A final dance

to earth

Everything seems to have a plan

A place here 

in the changing

I look on


the reaching begins

Branches up and out



One foot follows the next

Ticker Tape Wonder

When I say speckled pigment 

or rustic hue

I am reminded of store bought mud

and painted rocks

The air is yellow or a worn gray felt

covered in grandmas tea stained doiley

Is it just all shades of Rust?

We  try to call them colors

mesmerized  by the beauty of old age

The dog eats acorns like a squirrel

Tail shivering 

Teeth crackling

On the breeze an atmosphere of ticker tape  wonder

Twirling tinsel glides as naturally as buried tears

effortless in beauty

The yellow sails of letting go

the birds perch

peck through the tough skin to devour 

the village of artists 

who live to create designs 

that no one can see 

till it is all over 

and the pencil brown gray giant tumbles 

into pieces belly up and dry

The green branches droop and everyone is thirsty and weary

A wonderful home for death

It decorates tree bones till wind steals it away 

and there is no more but skeletons and winter sky

We can stare through the rain

Fumble through bird song

Curse through raking piles

But the field is getting closer 

and the tall grasses stiffen while we tilt

and spin away

from the dying 

to embrace the darkness 

The shortest way

And the birds twinkle their sounds like shooting stars

Disappearing into the forest with my wishes

gravity pulls at my middle

Nothing is fast enough

Not even the hurtling 


witness the spin as they twist and bend 

there are no straight sticks

to be found 

for the spaces in the hand woven fence at the end of the walk 

only discarded branches still reaching 

I walk along the crooked path with them searching

The shortest way between two points 

Midnight Hour

The dried brown leaves 

Cling to the 

Midnight hour of the towering oak tree

It will all be over soon

I can hear their brittle bodies 

Shiver as they try to slow time

They hang on


I know this

Myself devoid of all color now

Afraid of what will come

As time moves forward

And the clock ticks back

We are going to sleep

We are going to sleep

It is dark

It is cold

We spin

We circle

Around our star

Hide and Seek

The ribbon of cucumber skin 

held my hand captive 

The cooling curls wrapping gently 

around my pinky and thumb

A gift of pause

A message 

This is your morning

Our day

Then the coffee grounds

blackening the silver sink

Like the dark clarity of midnight

delivering a crisp message

This is your morning 

Our day

Moist coolness

Coffee brown 

My life is luxurious

This moment


I bow my head

not bothered by the sink full of food

Understanding wealth

not bothered by hand paralyzed by cucumber skin

Practicing breath

I will carry this hopeful song

this gift of time

Reverence again


Hidden everywhere

always patiently 


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