Autumn is Upon Us

by Brad Nelson9/24/17

I had promised Gibblet a haiku contest or exhibition of some sort way back when. Well, the coming of fall seems as good a time as any to dust off our creative, touchy-feely muscles.

Any form of poetry will be accepted. The best of it that you post in the comments section I will add to this article itself (but I won’t do you the indignity of deleting it from the comments if it doesn’t cut muster).

Don’t feel bad if you don’t make the cut. I’ll play no favorites. And I trust that Gibblet is of the type who doesn’t bruise easily in this regard. Creative people have to be able to face editorial and cultural rejection. (Or else what fun would it be to be an iconoclast?). But rejection is the juice that drives us onto better efforts.

So I’ll start with a haiku, a hanging fastball…one you can easily surpass. But as I said, any form of poetry, of any length, is acceptable. And although Autumn is the general theme, you may certainly loosely apply it.

Brad’s autumn garden
Fall of fruit and sanity
In the third person

Untitled, by Gibblet

The leaves, so welcomed in the spring
With freshness in their newborn dew
Now give way to branches bare
To show again the distant view

Come see the dark and angry sky
That rumbles over mountain green
To rain it’s life on forests dry
‘Till winter’s drip in puddles seen

Gray days linger ever long
Birds are scarce and seldom sing
For sky, and leaf, and bird I wait
To signal once again, “It’s Spring”

Trump Raking, by Kung Fu Zu

Cool crisp evenings
Foliage falling down
Multi-color leaves
Dance upon the ground
Such beauty is passing
Causes our hearts to break
But those damn leaves
Are a bitch to rake.

Wild Web, by Gibblet

Outside in my socks
Peaceful…..walk through spider web
Lots of wild flailing

Earthquakes and Ham, by Pat Tarzwell

Rain bring the green
And mold unseen

My ground is Gravel and rocks
It holds water like old socks

Floods for me, they may not come
But if the earthquakes, we’ll be undone.

Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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77 Responses to Autumn is Upon Us

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Here’s one more that will sort of act like a “bump” and draw some attention to this new thread:

    Leaves, old and yellow
    Through veins, they were not in vain
    The compost pile smiles

  2. Gibblet says:

    Fall is in the air
    Warding off hibernation
    Drinking more coffee

  3. Gibblet says:

    Ah, September. I had a serious accident with a horse one September long ago. The fresh sunny days of fall bring the memories back, and help me to put my life in perspective (and my tongue in my cheek). Therefore:

    The days are shorter
    Time flies like a bat from hell
    Let’s go to Maui

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Everything alive must die
    Upon which Autumn puts a warm beauty
    We crinkle and fall like the leaves
    May we find more, having done our duty

    • Gibblet says:

      Now all hath been heard
      Fear God, keep his commandments
      The duty of man

      “This is the end of the matter;
      all hath been heard:
      fear God, and keep his commandments;
      for this is the whole duty of man.”
      —Ecclesiastes 12:131.

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Orange, gold, and yellow
    The hot summer sun goes mellow
    It’s pumpkin time and corn
    Fall marks time till spring’s reborn

  6. Gibblet says:

    The leaves, so welcomed in the spring
    With freshness in their newborn dew
    Now give way to branches bare
    To show again the distant view

    Come see the dark and angry sky
    That rumbles over mountain green
    To rain it’s life on forests dry
    ‘Till winter’s drip in puddles seen

    Gray days linger ever long
    Birds are scarce and seldom sing
    For sky, and leaf, and bird I wait
    To signal once again, “It’s Spring”

  7. pst4usa says:

    A Steeler stands alone for the flag
    He must apologize
    The NFL dies

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Apparently according to Rush, that Steeler has already apologized.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        He didn’t apologize for standing, but for getting ahead of the team. Apparently the original idea was to stay in their dressing room, but he persuaded them to line up in the tunnel. Many of them stood there, according to at least one photo.

        • pst4usa says:

          I have heard that too Timothy, but I find nothing for him to be apologetic for, his team was being childish in response to our childish narcissist in chief. This is football, get the political statements out of it. I am fine if they want to protest on their own time, but not while being paid. Trump has no such time, he is at all times president; maybe he should learn that what he thinks does not always matter, and sharing his “great words”, “the best words”, is not always a benefit.

      • pst4usa says:

        Sorry Brad that was my poor attempt at poetry, not meant to be a topic. The image of one lone football player standing with his hand over his heart while the other whiners stay back in the tunnel or locker room, made me love this guy. He says, metaphorically, screw you guys for not standing up for the country I fought for, then he has to apologize. While the Kapernicks and Bennets are heroes for not standing? You’re a racist if you even question them or their motives? I have never been a poet, but this guy had courage, if only for a little while.
        To quote your poll, “Turn out the lights the party is over”, I may need to change my answer.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          It’s a nice, sad poem, Pat. Thanks for presenting that. It’s also a topic that can be taken literally. Did you read Prager’s article on it? He’s got it right. Someone who’s got it even righter is John Hawkins.

          Fall leaves, fall rain
          It’s the TV screen that is now our hearth indoors
          Except when those damn, silly, anti-America, BLM punks try to ram their separatist crap down our throats. Fire the assholes and let us watch some fall football without a bunch of friggin’ libtards polluting the airwaves.

          That one didn’t particularly rhyme, but I put a lot of feeling into it.

          • pst4usa says:

            I don’t think that is quite a haiku Brad, but maybe it could be a song.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            Hawkins’ article hits the nail on the head.

            As we have noted at ST, the Right rarely sees fit to actually fight about anything. They generally scribble useless platitudes. Hawkins understands how writers such as French and himself have lost any significance they may once have had.

            On the rare occasion they do fight they adhere to the equivalent of Marquess of Queensberry rules. As a result they are always thrashed by the Left.

            Trump is a street fighter. He doesn’t give a damn about etiquette. His base saw this and it is one of the main reasons he was elected. They are fed up being called racists, etc, etc, etc, etc. and they are up for a fight.

            The sad fact is that subtlety does not work in mass movements. The fine points of an argument mean very little when one is grappling with an enemy who wishes to destroy one. And make no mistake, we are in an ongoing life and death struggle. Some innocents may be hurt as we thrash around, but more will be saved if we win.

            I think the NFL is going to lose this particular skirmish. The more the idiots keep kneeling, locking arms and spouting off, the more they will remind people of what assholes these players, owners and executives are.

            This will constantly stoke people’s anger. If 65% of the people do agree with Trump on this, it can only hurt the NFL. I hope it hurts all professional sports as I think this country needs to think about more important things.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            As players kneel
            And show their contempt
            The owners grovel
            For every last cent

  8. Timothy Lane says:

    Leaves change their color,
    And make forests beautiful.
    Then they fall to Earth.

  9. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The long, hot summer briskly closes
    Impatient trees tire of middling plainness
    They fire in color, bracing against the chill wind
    And drop their leaves, leaving trunks of grayness

  10. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    In degrees of eighty-six
    The stories of the death of summer
    are greatly exaggerated

    That is not rain
    It is sweat upon my brow
    But not quite heat prostrated

    I tended my garden
    The withered goes, the green stays
    Pruning and lengthening summer

    Tomatoes still ripen
    A few beans and carrots cavort
    But weather app says rain…bummer

    • Timothy Lane says:

      How can rain be a bummer in Seattle? I thought that’s what it always does.

      • Gibblet says:

        You’re correct Timothy. It seems to rain all winter long in the Seattle area. That is certainly why it stays so green and beautiful here in the summer. But after experiencing more than a half-century worth of cloudy and wet winters, it tends to get old. Especially contrasted against a fabulous summer such as the one which, likely, ended for us today. I must admit, however, that I consider tornados, hurricanes, and New York snow to be much worse than our dull gray days. I’m thankful for the beauty we enjoy here and, like Brad, I’m not ready for summer to end.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        In Northwest, with rain
        It’s relationship, love hate
        We can’t turn it off
        So it’s put down to fate

        The abundance, it’s clear
        We can thank for the green
        So we dance and rejoice
        In those days in between

  11. Gibblet says:

    Outside in my socks
    Peaceful…..walk through spider web
    Lots of wild flailing

    Big drops, widely spaced
    I’m on the steps in the rain
    Very few hit me

    Geese fly overhead
    Honking with southern accent
    It’s a good morning

    Deer walks into yard
    Looks at me like I’m crazy
    I go back inside

  12. pst4usa says:

    The rain outside
    It cleans the air
    while others may rejoice
    This, we do not share
    Although for some of us that have a hard time breathing really dry air, we do appreciate the rains return.

    I do not think that line fits very well.

  13. Gibblet says:

    Ah, the Northwest, when the equinox biddeth
    If you don’t like the weather
    Just wait five minutes

  14. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    I was doing a little Fall gardening this morning while listening in headphones to the album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. A revelation occurred to me which may have helped clear up a misconception.

    I had always thought it wrong that Simon and Garfunkel broke up. However, that’s the first time I’ve ever listened to one of their albums outside of the famous Bridge Over Troubled Water (hardly a sour note on this one) or their even more renowned Greatest Hits album. These are both jewels in the crown of popular music.

    But, good god, what a pretentious windbag Paul Simon can be. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme has two or three pretentious and clearly pandering “protest” types songs…all while Paul Simon tries to channel his inner Bob Dylan. A couple of these songs are downright terrible.

    But you do have, of course, the title track of that album (“Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme”), “The 59th Street Bridge Song,” and the iconic “Homeward Bound.” These are all deservedly reverenced standards.

    But I did find one gem I had never heard of. It is called “Flowers Never Bend with the Rainfall.” It’s a nice, generally unpretentious song. Some of our (my) musings on the subject of Autumn were reflected in this song’s lyrics:

    Through the corridors of sleep
    Past the shadows dark and deep
    My mind dances and leaps in confusion.
    I don’t know what is real,
    I can’t touch what I feel
    And I hide behind the shield of my illusion.

    So I’ll continue to continue to pretend
    My life will never end,
    And Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall.

    The mirror on my wall
    Casts an image dark and small
    But I’m not sure at all it’s my reflection.
    I am blinded by the light
    Of God and truth and right
    And I wander in the night without direction.

    So I’ll continue to continue to pretend
    My life will never end,
    And Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall.

    It’s no matter if you’re born
    To play the King or pawn
    For the line is thinly drawn ‘tween joy and sorrow,
    So my fantasy
    Becomes reality,
    And I must be what I must be and face tomorrow.

    So I’ll continue to continue to pretend
    My life will never end,
    And Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I know what you mean. There are plenty of good songs, but some I don’t play when I play the MP3 image (to be precise, the last 3). Note that “Scarborough Fair” is based on a traditional folk song, and according to Elizabeth the refrain originally referred to savory rather than parsley. They may not have realized that savory is an actual herb.

      As for “Flowers Never Bend With the Rainfall”, that’s a favorite of mine. “A Simple Desultory Philippic” has its moments, especially its parody of the modern hipster. (“He’s so unhip that when you say ‘Dylan’, he thinks you’re talking about Dylan Thomas, whoever he was. The man ain’t got no culture.”)

      My favorite S&G album overall would be the Sounds of Silence album, especially the title song and the last song, “I Am a Rock”. But there are several other good songs as well, though I generally don’t bother to play “Blessed”.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        I shall give “Sounds of Silence” a listening soon…hopefully with the volume turned on.

        Another one from Parsley-Sage that I like is “Cloudy.” Okay, it’s dopey, white-bread fare but I’m a dopey, white-bread sort of person. It borders on unlistenable saccharine but somehow manages to walk that fine edge.

        Oh, and a couple of these songs remind me of Monkee songs, particularly “The Bright Green Pleasure Machine.” I don’t know who came first or who was imitating the other.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      Funny you should mention Simon & Garfunkel. Yesterday, I read some piece in which Garfunkel talked about the relationship and breakup. He was not very complimentary about Simon, hinted that being very short had caused Paul emotional problems.

      Unlike many musicians who form groups, these two had known each other since they were about 11 and were real friends before they became a group.

      In the early 1970’s, singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was a nice was to meet girls. I didn’t need accompaniment by any instrument, which was convenient, as carrying around a guitar could be troublesome.

      I like “The Boxer.”

      • Timothy Lane says:

        “The Boxer” is my favorite song on that album. I usually play it and Bookends together, since I skip a number of songs on each. (My favorite song on the latter is “A Hazy Shade of Winter”.)

  15. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    We now move onto the subspecies of Autumnal poetry: Halloween. This time there are prizes:

    First prize: Your house will not be haunted by ghosts on Halloween.
    Second prize: Your house will not get egged.
    Third prize: No one will steal your candy.

    Granted, these are all “negative prizes” but still quite significant and useful. I’ll start us off:

    Dressed like pumpkin
    House to house like a beggar
    I smell like a pie

  16. Gibblet says:

    Some things are sacred
    Birthday pumpkin on the porch
    Squirrels are eating it

  17. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Tomatoes for soup
    Now in mush piles on the ground
    Canned Hunts, here I come

  18. Gibblet says:

    Dressed like Kaepernick
    Stuck at home on Halloween
    No candy for me

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      There once was a sports league from hell
      Whose players were under a spell
      The same Lefty story
      The fault is old Glory
      So says jolly Roger Goodell

      • Timothy Lane says:

        Good, but actually Goodell claims otherwise. He just isn’t willing to do anything about it.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          There once was an NFL chief
          Caught between fans and a thief
          Who would steal the anthem
          And despise the fandom
          Two sides of his mouth, he’d bleat

  19. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Pumpkins in the meadow
    Fog upon the ground
    Scarecrow’s a happy fellow
    Fall has come around

    Soon we will be eating
    Turkey and apple pie
    The family will be meeting
    Discussing the year gone by

    The same scenes pass before us
    Through childhood and old age
    Time flows with or without fuss
    Always turning a new page

  20. Gibblet says:

    Celebration Of Splendid Summer Past

    Aspens quake on fair-morning breeze
    Golden medallions
    In exuberant end-zone dance, free
    They flutter and shimmy out on each limb
    Autumn’s spectacular show in the trees

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Spiders and webbing get stuck in my lashes
      Cleanup with trimmers I sometimes get gashes
      Brown rotting humus mixed in with blood stings
      These are a few of my Autumnal things

      Leaves fall to ground in a stream never-ending
      Hauling large trash bags and my back is bending
      Weak orange sun makes my nether parts ping
      These are a few of my Autumnal things

      When the rain falls
      When the wind blows
      When I’m feeling pity
      I simply remember to get back indoors
      And then I don’t feel so shitty

      • Timothy Lane says:

        We never had so many problems doing yard work. It helped that we left a lot of the leaves on the ground to (eventually) fertilize the grass. Now, of course, it’s no longer a concern of ours. But I don’t think Julie Andrews would approve of your version.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I do not think Maria would approve. I think Sally Miles wouldn’t bat an eyelash.

          Which reminds me, one of my favorite rhymes is:

          Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
          Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

          I should keep a scrapbook of them. Another one I like is by the socialist devotee Billy Bragg’s “A New England”:

          I saw two shooting stars last night
          I wished on them but they were only satellites

      • Gibblet says:

        Fabulous! Oh, how funny. We’ll put that on the album.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Glad you liked it. Let’s do one more from TSOM:

          I breathe the frost, my heat core lost
          My coat has worn quite bare
          I hop and skip without a thought
          Of black ice I’m unaware
          And underneath my hoodie
          Velcro burrs are in my hair
          I even think my butt’s a little flabby

          I swear at the Arctic winds
          But apologies are few
          This chill gets into everything
          Jack Frost’s a horrid dude
          I hate to have to say it
          But I very firmly feel
          October is too cold and rather shabby

          I’d like to say a word in its defense
          Better than Trump and Pence

          How do you bear a season like October?
          How do you keep your pulse from closing down?
          How do you find a way through bleak October?
          A jigger a sip a nip of the Royal, Crown

          Many a curse you throw up to the weather
          Many an oath to try to bring some heat
          But so many things contract
          Are your digits still attached?
          Not seeing my breath would really be quite neat

          Oh, how do you bear a season like October?
          How to survive this patch of trick-or-treat?

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