Autumn paths

An English Quintain for the dverse prompt. I enjoyed this one.


The alder and the poplar tree

Are stripped of leaf and bare of bough,

Beneath, through rustling autumn gold we

Walk the quiet ways that now

Are dark as sun slips over evening’s brow.


Hand in hand we make our way

Along the stream where owls are crying

Farewell to the end of this cold day

That carries in the north wind sighing

The last flames of red autumn dying.


Beneath the trees along the stream

We walk, I hold your hand in mine

Where golden tribute paves a cherished dream,

Woven through with briar and with vine

Our place, as rich as honey-sweetened wine.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

58 thoughts on “Autumn paths”

  1. Such a lovely cadence to your verse Jane. A tribute to the last waning days of autumn’s beauty and to your place, rich as honey-sweetened wine. Thanks for joining in.

  2. Jane how wonderful this composition, meticulous crafted, but velvet in its unfolding. I like pastoral. I went to somber. I think the deepening darkness here in the Pacific Northwest is getting to me this more than usual. Beautiful piece… 🙂

    1. Poetry and the natural world used to be escapism for me, but like you, I see darkness everywhere. I love this place and the things that live in it, but I will never get used to the senseless killing that goes on, nor the indifferent attitude of so many country people to the beauty that surrounds them.

      1. You may 🙂 I feel that when you strip everything back to the core, what you have is not ‘things’ or wishes and desires, but the happiness of the one you love. It’s abstract and elusive, but it’s the bedrock of existence.

      2. that is a totally unselfish feeling Jane, I am not sure I can be that generous, there must be a lot of trust to feel this way, your poem appealed to the softer side of me, which is getting harder to reach these days, so yes i was really pleased to read it.

      3. It wears me out too, not understanding why people are so hell bent on destroying themselves and everything else in pursuit of happiness without every catching it. It’s right in front of their eyes.

      4. I agree, no one ever appreciates what is right in front of them anymore, it is always wanting more, bigger, better. the simple life seems to have no meaning.

      5. What makes me very angry is the way people who really have very comfortable lives complain about what they are not able to do, not unless they don’t do something else, or don’t buy something else. And they complain to people who have materially so much less than they have.

  3. I can tell you enjoyed this prompt, Jane! I enjoyed your English quintain and ‘snap!’ – we both wrote about Autumn. I love the assonance in the end-rhymes of the first stanza – those ‘ow’ sounds are plaintive – and the phrase ‘sun slips over evening’s brow’ is gorgeous. I also enjoyed the ;’last flames of red autumn dying’.

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