Tipi Standing Starkly at Dawn
Softly mist surrounds the standing tipi
Red ribbons stilled and unmoving
Trailing down from poles starkly sentinel
Till the barest breath of a breeze
Gently lifts them with a token motion.
All around the pine trees standing tall
Branches moist with a fine foggy rain,
A squirrel scampers scurrying across the grass
Intent on hiding a prized walnut
That is clasped within strong jaws.
He is gone as fast as he came, concealed
In the underbrush of the wooded foliage,
Moving in more mist circles the lodge poles tall
Against the sky joins the earth below
To a sad somber grey canopy above.
Lush green grasses abound all around me
Blend out toward the thick forest floor,
Here and there branches of rust, red, golden leaves
Mingle starkly against the green palette,
Pine needles lying in large swathes dead.
The grass has slowed its summer growth
Now barely worth the effort to cut again,
The toil of long mowing days finally came to an end
As the crispness of chill air all around lay
Resting upon the once warmed earth below.
Mushrooms, toadstools, assorted fungi
Peep out from where they laid dormant
Under layering blankets of covering protective earth
Quickly they push through then perish
The last offerings picked for this season.
No more will they be sought out for food
Medicines of the ones who roam the land,
Caches of dried roots, seeds, plants all carefully stored
Safely for the coming long winter moons
Silence is upon the land waiting expectedly.
For the sadness is upon me once more
As the autumn leaves color up vividly
In their death throes of exquisite beauty, slowly decay,
A final shuddering as the wind shakes,
Leaves fall, then cold pierces my heart.
The long nights are upon us all now
As all are preparing for the first falling
Snow that is to come shortly to cover, then blanket,
Enfolding all that it touches and protects
Till spring’s loving warm breath awakens
.………………………. (c) CBJ