{pf: poetry peeps in gratitude for autumn}

Greetings! Welcome to another Poetry Peeps adventure on Poetry Friday!

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of December! Here’s the scoop: We’ve got a ringing in our ears! Clock chimes, the Liberty bell, church bells, school bells, ding-dong merrily – we’ll be writing with bells on about bells of all kinds. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on December 31st (riiiight before your hopefully safe New Year’s shindig, so plan ahead) in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Well, speaking of planning ahead, I certainly expected this post to go better, but my body is insisting on lying flat instead of sitting up doing much. Ah, well. For more brilliant takes on our November ode, don’t miss Sara’s poem, Laura’s poem, and Tricia’s is here. Poetry Friday is ably hosted by Ruth coming to us from the intriguingly named There Is No Such Thing As A God-forsaken Town. Ruth joined us in writing an ode today, so yay Ruth! Michelle K. shares her ode here, Linda M’s is here, while Linda B’s is here! Heidi’s ode is an acrostic! Jone’s ode is here, and Carol V’s praise is here. More Poetry Peeps may check-in throughout the weekend, so stay tuned for my very slow round-up.

Our precis this month was to write a poem that was an ode to autumn. Odes tend to have three sections – a kind of a layering that moves from an initial thought, a shift deeper, and then a turning toward the end. Some of us banged away on the form before we thought about rhyme while others of us jumped straightaway into trying to find thematic words that went with rhyme. In an attempt not to recreate our hymns to autumn of 2015, some Poetry Sisters discussed challenging themselves to create their poems non-nature focused. Ouch! Other than pumpkin-spiced everything, which is wholly unnatural anyway (okay, maybe not, but close), most people who love autumn tend to love… the nature of it! Frosts and changed leaves and drifts of leaves and big-headed mums and the swift drift of woodsmoke, and… hm. I obviously could write a poem about my love for the trees and leaves and such, but I also love a concept that makes me dig past the obvious, so I fiddled around and did some thinking… What happens in my life without fail, every autumn?

winter concert practice

September, late, and in an airless box,
We fan our pages, desperate for a breeze.
Sight-reading scores with one eye on the clock
In sweating ranks. Our voices drone like bees

As we commit each note and bright reprise
To memory. We dream of early nights
When sudden sundown catches by surprise
October rooms gilded by firelight.
For then, we’ll know these notes and harmonize!
And stand prepared for performance spotlight.
Or so we fool ourselves and fantasize
But late November tells us otherwise…

For EVERY YEAR the winter concert looms
As sudden as an iceberg in the fog!
That shrugged off “some day” morphs. Impending doom
Accompanies the notes through which we slog…

But…every singer warming up to C,
The orchestra, while tuning to their A
Know life with music gives no guarantees,
But feeds the soul. – Reason enough to stay.

I hope you had a lovely Thursday, filled with just as much noise and tumult or peace and quiet as your soul craved, with celebration of family and repudiation of the wholesale murder and greed from which the original American holiday sprung. I was wholly satisfied with my first visit to family since the Great Isolation began; even sitting in a chair and doing nothing but laughing at our collective goofiness was a precious, precious gift I will never take for granted again. Happy autumn, happy weekend.

11 Replies to “{pf: poetry peeps in gratitude for autumn}”

  1. Tanita, I am adding some more image poems to my Bedecked In Autumn Gallery before the season finally finds its resting place in the calendar. If you have a gratiku poem or other artistic expression you would like to add, please let me know.

  2. Tanita, you went beyond the obvious nature-related theme to dig deep and it worked. I do love that you slipped in the thought about October: “When sudden sundown catches by surprise/October rooms gilded by firelight.” The musical theme works so well with your poem. “Know life with music gives no guarantees,/But feeds the soul.” Thank you for feeling my soul this morning. I have tried to squeeze in poetry reading during this hectic TDay weekend but upon looking back, Thanksgiving was a blessing even amidst the haste to make it a cozy holiday in my new home. Thank you for always add ing my name to the list. It is fun to be part of the Poetry Sisters’ challenge each month. (I also love your gratitude poems, especially the one on your family’s Thanksgiving.)

  3. I love the ending stanza with a nod to singers, and especially those brave enough to endure this hard journey… “But feeds the soul. – Reason enough to stay. Your poem sings through its musical roots, Thanks Tanita!

  4. I’m so glad you had a terrific family gathering. Yes, just sitting together laughing is a gift. Our Thanksgiving included that, too, and I was grateful. I love how you show us the nitty gritty of choral practice. Those voices always seem so…above…the idea of slogging through practice. I love the one eye on the clock and the idea that somehow, all of this everyday-ness, the ordinariness of getting ready for a big event, is still soul-satisfying. Makes me think of my drum corps year–a somehow sacred slog!

  5. Tanita, I too noticed the lovely way that your ode to the process of performance followed autumn from September to an implied December, like Mary Lee’s. Every year when I work with my class (though perhaps not this one; no parents allowed in the school building) to put on a performance of some kind, there is always that moment, that iceberg of impending doom when I wonder “What was I thinking???” And then on the day it goes swimmingly enough and they love it and the families love it and I remember “no guarantees,/But feeds the soul. – Reason enough to stay.” I didn’t look up any rules for odes when I did mine, and I like how yours takes its stanzas as it needs them. Sorry you’re feeling flat–but you don’t sound flat at all!

  6. I TOTALLY missed the part about non-nature focused. Oh, well. I do love your poem side-by-side with mine as we both walk through September, October, November, December. Yours moves towards creation, while mine documents the seasonal wind-down. Your rhyme scheme is brilliant, and your word choice is (as usual) stunning.

  7. I’ve been to her concerts many times in the past, know that she, too, continues to feed her soul through music. That is my sister-in-law in her city’s philharmonic, whose winter concert I can see via video, no more visiting of late. I will send her this, Tanita, and she will love it as I do. I love it all but somehow this caught me as real truth: When sudden sundown catches by surprise/October rooms gilded by firelight./For then, we’ll know these notes and harmonize!/
    And stand prepared for performance spotlight. (I was in an orchestra long ago, remember the struggle, then the delight). Thanks, Tanita. Wishing you a wonderful weekend ‘after’, too.

  8. Oh, goodness…you had me smiling. That iceberg in a fog. Ha! I once was in a show that opened so badly that the director closed the curtain and we all started again! LOL. It was terrible and funny and I had a blast. I love the idea of October living rooms gilded by a fireplace. Lovely.

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