Autumn river

Autumn sun shines

bright as an August morning

but the racing tide runs higher


in a torrent of drowned tree trunks

torn from some seaward mudbank

shattering the placid summer mirror.

The gentle breeze sighs

buffeted by wilder gusts

all softness wrung and scattered.

Sharp-edged and unkind

the wind that blows now

to shake the yellow leaves

until they fall


a brittle rain across the water.

And in its voice the howl of the bleak ocean

and the champing of winter cold.