Poetry by Rod Stone – 10/17

Autumn Awakening

“Elfin bell in azure dress,
Chiming all day long,
Ringing through the wilderness
Dulcet notes of song.
Daintiest of forest flowers
Weaving like a spell–
Music through the Autumn hours,
Little Elfin bell.”                                  “Hare-Bell” by Emily Pauline Johnson

My senses revive as I inhale
the brisk night air of September.
It has quickened my desire
to stride with gargantuan steps
the rolling wooded hills
and to revisit all the lovely valleys
across the far vistas of Huronia.
I long to see them in their native dress
of green, gold and vermilion.
Under the Full Harvest Moon
I’ll join the shades of old Ojibwe families
when they rise to spear fish,
harvest rice and pick wild berries
as was the custom preparing for winter.
Under the Full Hunter’s Moon
I’ll watch the ghosts
of Chippewa hunters chasing deer
fly faster than the wind blown autumn leaves.
Even now, racing clouds cast long shadows
of mythical fish, birds and animals
on the Haliburton highlands.
To the west Muskoka waits for me
like an Indian maiden in the moonlight.
The voyageurs paddle the old waterways again
and their travelling songs mingle eerily
with the cries of the loon and the whippoorwill.
Under the Full Beaver moon
I’ll help the Algonquin tribes set beaver traps
before the swamps freeze
to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.
At last before the Full Cold Moon
when the smell of burning leaves
like the smoke of a thousand peace pipes
still lingers in the frosty air,
I’ll feel again sharp pangs of sadness
for a trust betrayed by guile, guns and greed.

The Leaves That Fall

Scattered all over gardens and lawns
time’s rogues and heroes fallen together.
Yellow bandannas and helmets of bronze
all blown about by the blustery weather.

These drew sword on the Trojan plain.
They marched in the armies of Nebuchadnezzar.
His kingdom fell, now we watch it again
brought down by pride and love of pleasure.

Here lies Persia – a splendid ruin.
There lies Greece – its glory ended.
Alexander’s might, the grandeur of Rome
in the gallery of time suspended.

Like spirits to us they mutter and sigh
out of the past for whatever reason.
Uncountable faces that flutter and fly,
the leaves that fall in the autumn season.

Autumn Villanelle

Oh this is the time of riches to rag.
Red petals fall from the frost-blighted roses
and summer goes into an old paper bag.

Day lilies wilt and stems start to sag.
Why waste the water so put away hoses.
Oh this is the time of riches to rag.

The filly of youth is now an old nag
from arthritic limbs and age’s sclerosis
and nations go into an old paper bag.

All flesh is grass no matter its flag,
the rich and the famous full of fine poses.
Oh this is the time of riches to rag.

Helen of Troy turns into a hag.
A head coiffed with gold is cut as fall closes.
and legends go into an old paper bag.

The beauty of man is nothing to brag
after varicose veins and bulbous noses.
Oh this is the time of riches to rag
and summer goes into an old paper bag.


Rod Stone’s artistic statement: I want to thank the members of the Brooklin Poetry Society for helping me improve my craft. Reading widely in the poetic canon has also helped me develop a sense of taste in poetry. Some of my favourites are the French Symbolists, W.B. Yeats and great modern poets like Philip Larkin and Elizabeth Bishop. Reading and writing poetry has been one of the joys of my life because as Mallarmé said “beauty has only one perfect expression, Poetry”. You can visit me at www.rodspoetryblog.wordpress.com.