Tuesday, December 14, 2010


i pluck dead leaves
from houseplants

they know it's late autumn
and much like
their brothers and sisters
they long to be free

to return to the earth

so placing them outside
on the snow
i watch
as the wind

(almost as if it had been waiting for something to do)

turns the leaves
this way and that

and then
pulls them away

over the fence
and across the winter fields


Elisabeth said...

You return these leaves to the earth, Steven, in a proper burial of sorts.

R. Burnett Baker said...

This is a fun one! I especially like the line "...as the wind (almost as if it had been waiting for something to do)" .

Not sure why, but that just tickled me....


Anonymous said...

"almost as if it had been waiting for something to do"

This brought a smile. Your writing projects you as a keen observer of not only nature, but all things in general.

Enjoyed your posts.


Pauline said...

That is beautiful! Such a thoughtful gesture - your hallmark :)

Dan Gurney said...

I love this poem, steven. For some reason, it reminds me of your father--

to be free
to return to the earth
away over the fence
and across the winter fields.

Bonnie said...

So tender and gentle, steven.

Liza said...

this brought tears to my eyes!
a few years back I had a sick ficus tree that I finally placed amongst the trees outside in the dead of winter.
I felt bad every time I looked at it, but now, when I think back, I will think
Thanks Steven : )

Reya Mellicker said...

So beautiful and loving of you. The leaves look great on the snow. And how nice to give Brother Wind a project! You are so good.

steven said...

elisabeth - reverence for the cycles of life is something i had no real sense of until my father flew away. i'm not obsessive but i take care of what needs to be taken care of with much more care and respect than i used to. steven

steven said...

rick - it's an aside that reflects an almost bitter edge i have at having to put my bicycle aside for the wind and the cold and the snow and the ice. a harsh reality. but i can laugh - because really there are no better substitutes for dealing with life than joy! steven

steven said...

hi priya - thankyou for your kind happy comment. i've found a sweet spot in which i see nature and the internal and external machinations of people as mirroring each other. so there's something to learn along the way. something that can help me move along my path and maybe in the act of goodness that nature so easily represents - maybe, there's something there for the beautiful people! steven

steven said...

pauline thankyou. i'm just me. i do what i do. i'm so really blessed to be surrounded by really good people who push me on even as i push them on our paths!! steven

steven said...

dan thankyou for your thoughtful words. i had to really let them settle in before writing. i miss him pretty hard and i learned so much from his work which was done against tremendous odds and was entirely unexpected and even unlikely. releasing what has flown away is the greatest learning. then, learning why it was here in the first place. why in my life? why now? why in this way? so much for me to unpack and assemble into some semblance of meaning. steven

steven said...

bonnie - i have a tiggerish presence on the outside of myself. it isn't obvious on the golen fish but it's there. but my inner core is very much the tender, gentle, loving person. i sometimes look and wonder at my fortune and then also at the price it costs me. steven

steven said...

liza - anything that is returned has already flown away and so returning its body is almost an afterthought. but, the grace with which that afterthought is manifested is a reflection of who you are to your self. and so it's really important to celebrate the releasing of anything no matter how small. to do it with care. steven

steven said...

ha reya! brother wind has driven me off my bicycle. he has made walks more significant in terms of the commitment to working through the minus twenty something temps my body has to endure. but he also moves stuff along. i was thinking on the little animals and what they're doing right now. they've got to be deep in their sandy leafy places sleeping. steven

Dejemonos sorprender said...

Wa, so beautiful.. contrast are fantastics.. very artistic!

Kerry said...

This is a beautiful moment, described perfectly with your words. Even without the gorgeous, elegant photos I could picture it.

Jo said...

I won't be putting my plants' withered leaves in the trash any longer. I'd rather have Brother Wind play with them than have him think of something more mischievous to do with his time!

Beautiful images, Steven.

Linda Sue said...

wonderful photos! Gorgeous poem- I never would have thought to give the dead leaves of houseplants to the wind- no, they end up in the kitchen trash with coffee grounds and tea bags and onion skins- not pretty - not poetic- I must rethink the way I move through this life- thanks to you.