There's that seasonal time, an overlap, when roses are clinging yet fading, and when the wind has a bite. Under one's feet the leaves are dry and they crunch at each step. In that moment it's summer, autumn, and winter all at once. I wrote this poem after walking at the Morton Arboretum one November.
The poem "Taking Stock" is from my book Clinging to Purple Heaven (copyright 2020).
I’ve come to say hello to the prairie grasses,
Silver Feather Grass, swaying plumes,
pale and dry, rustling beside
the bushes buried in snow,
the Coral Beauty, the Cotoneaster,
its dark green ivy-like leaves
and lustrous red berries.
One plant waving me to come hither,
the other holding the weight of winter.
Feather Reed Grass stalks
shoot straight up from a big clump
within a thick green base.
Much like this Tansy clinging
to green thoughts of spring flowers,
its dried brown pods
on veritable stems.
Hasta la vista to the hostas,
my Sum and Substance
chopped and buried down.
but Stonecrop florets
full of hints of pink,
and perhaps a faint hum.
It’s the whip of the wind.
Oh, for the Carefree Sunshine Rose!
Tall green plants barely touched
by snow, curving limbs
flaunting numerous shiny thorns
winter’s cold face.