Looking Back

This blog features poems by a native New Englander and octogenarian, as he looks back on the stomping grounds of his youth -- Chaffee's Woods, Kent Heights, Beach Pond, Escoheag, Wood River -- and his army days in Europe towards the end of WWII.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A New England Autumn

October in New England is
A wondrous time to dwell
Amid the wooded hills and farms
And fields that bound with stone
When nights are cool and days are warmed
By sunlight strong and bright
And forests turn from green to gold
With reds and yellows too.

And mingling with the rusty brown
Of oaks both red and white
Where goldenrod and asters too
Will reign and justly so
For nature’s other pretty blooms
Have long since waned and gone
To wait until another year
And then burst forth again.

When shadows lengthen early on
And afternoons bring chills
Foretelling that a frost will come
To whiten stonewalled fields
And often on these chilly nights
Is heard the great horned owl
Who as he makes his silent flight
Does boast his hunting call.

While far above, the honk of geese
Comes from a cloudless sky
All heading southward in great vees
Toward warmer winter climes
And when the autumns last cut hay
Of timothy and vetch
With clover and alfalfa mixed
Will sweeten up the air.

The squash and pumpkins fill the fields
And apples load the trees
The smell of wood smoke drifting by
A sure sign summer’s passed.
The autumn’s frost is in full sway
A pleasant time of year
For when the work is mostly done
Then hunting time is near.

A time of preparation for
A winter long and hard
The field corn’s chopped and siloed high
The baled hay crams the loft
Of barns so overflowing that
No space exists for that
Which lies out in the field today
On this the cattle feast.

There is a sense of fulfillment
That always fills the heart
And lets all know that when the storms
Of winter really start
Each is prepared and will fare well
And none will ever want
For October in New England is
Our favorite time of year.

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