nature, Poetry Friday

What is this light?

We have a beautiful paperbark maple in the back yard. It is one of the last trees to green up in spring and to redden in the fall. We see it from our kitchen window. When it is in full color, it’s almost as if  there is a glowing presence outside, looking in at us. It’s coming into its full beauty right now!


What is this light

that window-watches
with a molten glance
all the burnt-orange shades
of lingering Autumn’s dance?

That stains the cool
November afternoon
with pear-gold burnished joy
and flapping goose’s tune?

In windy rain the flakes
of sunlight falling fast.
Drink in this wine
before fall bloom is past!

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All Rights Reserved)

This poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Laura Salas at Writing the World for Kids.

29 thoughts on “What is this light?”

  1. I suspect all of us, at least those posting about autumn, are taking your wonderful advice, Violet: “Drink in this wine
    before fall bloom is past!” I am! It’s been a wondrous autumn here, and I’m happy when everyone shares more from their own habitat!


  2. Violet: Autumn is my favorite season, and you have expressed it beautifully in this poem. I like the image of staining the November air… and then the drinking of the wine. Lovely.


    1. Thank you, Jane! Actually I live in the GVRD, so I know what you’re saying about rain. But in my ‘burb, it didn’t bleach the colors. Somehow this year they have been brighter than ever, and more long-lasting, perhaps because we haven’t had much wind. Hopefully we’ll have a sunnier November.



      1. Sun? What is this “sun” you speak of? I think I’ve forgotten what that means?

        I’m being melodramatic, of course – we actually had sun yesterday afternoon, but a lifetime of rainy winters still hasn’t made me like them any more! 😉 I’ll just cling to photos and poems to remind me of warmer days… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan! The paperbark maple was also new to me when we moved here and found this tree in our back yard (part of the townhouse landscaping). At first I thought it was an arbutus, but no, it only resembled the arbutus’s curling brown bark. I recognized maple when seeing the keys and leaf shape. There are paperbark oaks as well, There might be be other paperbark trees too.


  3. There is a japanese maple across the street from me that will take your breath away in the fall, so, I can relate to your poem and “drink in this wine.” Lovely.


  4. Such wise advice! The townhome we moved into this summer has a glorious maple in the tiny front yard. I feel so lucky. It’s been a highlight of autumn. This is beautiful–my favorite line is “with pear-gold burnished joy.” Sigh.


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