Winter came

            unnoticed; we
thought it had arrived.
 
            The subtle lull
                        of autumn tricked us
            with its need for cardigans
                        and leaves aesthetically arranged
                                    on garden floors and streets.
 
We thought the worst had come,
            forgot
                        how true cold feels
            on toes.
                       And now:
            the need for scarves
                        in bags (in case)
            and duffle coats;
the huddled walk
            of chilling feet
                        and all the proud offense of those
            who do not know the cold.
 
Father hands:
            please keep us warm.
The winter does not sit with us.
                        And strengthen mumbling
            grumbling minds
                        to take the worst
            that comes.

Les Feuilles Mortes

Philippe Robert, "Feuilles d'automne"
Philippe Robert, “Feuilles d’automne”

Yes, the leaves die as they go golden,
      yet
this does not speak to me of death,
as hand-in-hand we walk below bowers
          which colour
     the world’s bright defiant grave.
 
Tombs carry promise, still dormant – a longing –
     life
hidden by these shrouds of weak foresight –
then, like colour transfigured in a shower of gold,
          soon to sing,
     “Death, where’s your victory? Your sting?”

Autumn Soul

Poor leaves -
gold before the sun is gone,
heat-confused,
your brothers green,
fallen now before your time,
the street lined thick with your mistake -
leaves, lie still and wait.

Last week summer ruled the street;
spring creeps in, winter retreats.
We mourned the heat, we dreamt the dreams
that drove the leaves down to the ground.
Autumn soul, poor autumn soul,
let the seasons pass you by
and rest a while in grace.