Fall [writing prompt]

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This was originally published in November, 2011.

I looked at the tree, so yellow it looked like a column of sacrificial fire. It was in a line of trees of trees at the top of a brown field. The other trees were green and brown, but this tree was among them but not of them.

I looked at the tree unblinking until my eyes watered and shut tight of their own volition. I was afraid.

Fallen Yellow Leaf

Photo by Alyson Hurt

The night sky fell and turned my skin blue grey and my skin goosebumped with cold then smoothed over like ice but still I stayed outside, crouching, then kneeling, then lying prone like a sniper staring at the yellow tree which was disappearing into the night.

The grass around me was dry and when the wind blew it whispered to me but I could not understand its language.

The crickets and frogs and even the soft chippers of birds spoke but in words I did not know. “What are you saying,” I said to the birds. “What are you trying to tell me,” I said to the dry grass. “And you, column of fire, what do you mean. I can't understand you but if I did I think I would do it different. I would be different.” But they were silent, and when the light was finally gone I got up and went home.

The next day the leaves on the tree were all gone.

And you, what is your fall moment?

PRACTICE

Write about your fall moment.

Write for fifteen minutes, and post your practice in the comments when you're finished. Feel free to give other writers feedback on their posts.

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

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87 Comments

  1. Eileen

    It’s that single branch among all the green ones that captures my attention every fall. There’s something special and admirable about this one branch boldly stepping out among the ordinary. It glistens in the sunlight, dances in the breeze and beckons to the rest.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Mmm… it beckons to the rest. I love that.

      Reply
  2. Eileen

    It’s that single branch among all the green ones that captures my attention every fall. There’s something special and admirable about this one branch boldly stepping out among the ordinary. It glistens in the sunlight, dances in the breeze and beckons to the rest.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Mmm… it beckons to the rest. I love that.

      Reply
  3. joco

    It took many a year to acquire a taste for autumn.

    As a boy, I was all about summer romance; with her campgrounds and road trips.
    I also admired old man winter; looking forward to his snow days and holidays.
    And I gladly anticipated spring renewal of flower and green;
    coming forth from her rain-soaked earth.

    But autumn? Fall? Death and dying? That’s what it meant to me as a boy;
    Dread of back-to-school, chore of raking leaf, death of summer fling.

    But now I find myself in the autumn of my life;
    And I have discovered the joy and beauty of fall.
    Cooling summer heat; fling’s romance reborn to enduring golden love.
    Trees’ hair turns grey and loose, displays strength in facing winter’s brutal death.

    I love the taste of autumn now, the sweetness of cider kiss;
    The apple of my eye comes close to snuggle and remember.
    Stories of spring’s rebirth and summer fling and romance cannot compare
    To the aroma of home fires and tables set for family celebration.

    It took many a year to acquire a taste for autumn;
    And it was worth the wait.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Nice, Tom.

      This, to me, was worth the whole thing: “Trees’ hair turns grey and loose, displays strength in facing winter’s brutal death.”

      What a great way to personify a tree in fall, like an old woman about to die, losing her hair to age, facing it with calm strength. Beautiful.

      Reply
    • Anne Peterson

      I liked this post. The pictures you painted were readily seen. It was easy to conjure some of my own after reading yours. Liked it a lot.

      Reply
    • Ruth

      This is beautiful. “the autumn of my life”, the “apple of my eye comes to snuggle”, the “aroma of home fires”. Lovely images! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
    • Katie Hamer

      You’ve come up with a wealth of ideas here. I like how you linked the seasons, and put the Autumn in the context of Summer before it and Winter following: “summer romance” and “old man winter”. Also anticipating “spring renewal of flower and green”. Very nicely and poetically expressed. A joy to read.

      Reply
    • catmorrell

      “Sweetness of cider kiss” Beautiful.

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    It took many a year to acquire a taste for autumn.

    As a boy, I was all about summer romance; with her campgrounds and road trips.
    I also admired old man winter; looking forward to his snow days and holidays.
    And I gladly anticipated spring renewal of flower and green;
    coming forth from her rain-soaked earth.

    But autumn? Fall? Death and dying? That’s what it meant to me as a boy;
    Dread of back-to-school, chore of raking leaf, death of summer fling.

    But now I find myself in the autumn of my life;
    And I have discovered the joy and beauty of fall.
    Cooling summer heat; fling’s romance reborn to enduring golden love.
    Trees’ hair turns grey and loose, displays strength in facing winter’s brutal death.

    I love the taste of autumn now, the sweetness of cider kiss;
    The apple of my eye comes close to snuggle and remember.
    Stories of spring’s rebirth and summer fling and romance cannot compare
    To the aroma of home fires and tables set for family celebration.

    It took many a year to acquire a taste for autumn;
    And it was worth the wait.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Nice, Tom.

      This, to me, was worth the whole thing: “Trees’ hair turns grey and loose, displays strength in facing winter’s brutal death.”

      What a great way to personify a tree in fall, like an old woman about to die, losing her hair to age, facing it with calm strength. Beautiful.

      Reply
  5. sara choe

    ah, fall, the one season i turn into somewhat of a nature nut.

    “autumn glory”

    i thought it was raining but i wasn’t getting wet.
    i felt no droplets from the sky.
    though it was overcast and cloudy
    there was no rain.

    it was the rustling of leaves that i heard, not the rush of rain.
    or was it?
    instead of water, drops of yellow cascaded from the trees;
    they whispered loudly, like a hush that washes over a football stadium,
    the best kind of surround sound.

    i should’ve run under the trees and danced in the leaves.

    how i would’ve loved to linger even longer along skyline drive that day;
    it was the one day i didn’t mind driving 40 miles per hour (at most).

    these days, i swear i hear the leaves’ siren call – in their auburn, orange, burnt sienna, yellow, and golden glory – beckoning me to sit among the trees from whom they’re about to depart,
    especially along baron cameron avenue, en route to somewhere, something to do.

    as the days get colder, it takes more and more self-control
    not to pull over and just lay on grass and gaze at the autumn rainbow
    with a cloudless sky as a backdrop.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Wonderful, Sara.

      I love how you frame it. Is it raining? How come I’m not getting wet? No, it’s raining LEAVES. I think that is the best part of this piece.

      This is an interesting transition, “i should’ve run under the trees and danced in the leaves.” It’s “raining” but you can’t give into your emotions and get lost in the moment. You’re repressed somehow. Why? You don’t really say, but the desire to let go into nature becomes stronger and stronger.

      The only fault with this piece is that there are essentially two parts: the mystery surrounding the rain, and the conflict between your desire to give into nature and your self-control. Can you integrate them?

      Reply
  6. sara choe

    ah, fall, the one season i turn into somewhat of a nature nut.

    “autumn glory”

    i thought it was raining but i wasn’t getting wet.
    i felt no droplets from the sky.
    though it was overcast and cloudy
    there was no rain.

    it was the rustling of leaves that i heard, not the rush of rain.
    or was it?
    instead of water, drops of yellow cascaded from the trees;
    they whispered loudly, like a hush that washes over a football stadium,
    the best kind of surround sound.

    i should’ve run under the trees and danced in the leaves.

    how i would’ve loved to linger even longer along skyline drive that day;
    it was the one day i didn’t mind driving 40 miles per hour (at most).

    these days, i swear i hear the leaves’ siren call – in their auburn, orange, burnt sienna, yellow, and golden glory – beckoning me to sit among the trees from whom they’re about to depart,
    especially along baron cameron avenue, en route to somewhere, something to do.

    as the days get colder, it takes more and more self-control
    not to pull over and just lay on grass and gaze at the autumn rainbow
    with a cloudless sky as a backdrop.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Wonderful, Sara.

      I love how you frame it. Is it raining? How come I’m not getting wet? No, it’s raining LEAVES. I think that is the best part of this piece.

      This is an interesting transition, “i should’ve run under the trees and danced in the leaves.” It’s “raining” but you can’t give into your emotions and get lost in the moment. You’re repressed somehow. Why? You don’t really say, but the desire to let go into nature becomes stronger and stronger.

      The only fault with this piece is that there are essentially two parts: the mystery surrounding the rain, and the conflict between your desire to give into nature and your self-control. Can you integrate them?

      Reply
  7. careyrowland

    Fall is nothing more than life giving up on itself so that death will come and flutter it down to the ground in a frenzy of golden crimson glory until life comes and takes authority once again at some time in April or May. Really, it is nothing more than that. It has nothing to do with steaming coffee with vivial conversation, or brandy and intimate warmth, or the twinkling eyes of one who stole your heart many harvest moons ago. It has nothing to do with all that faded romance or frosted glory, even though the autumn leaves are turning to the color of her hair. No, fall is when you understand that the fleeting feigned permanency of life is celebrated most intensely because one true life-mate has come and rescued you from all that old romantic nonsense, and then spent more quivering autumns with you than you had felt before all that misty memory occupied your mind. Truly, that is all fall is.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Yes, Carey. Excellent.

      This is my favorite, “nothing more than life giving up on itself so that death will come and flutter it down to the ground in a frenzy of golden crimson glory.” Although, I might have put a period between that and the next phrase.

      And I love the (almost) refrain, “Fall is nothing more than that.”

      I don’t know what the old romantic nonsense is, that was a bit obscure. But I did like the references to the “one who stole your heart” and was wondering whose hair you are referring to.

      Reply
    • Adriana Willey

      even though the autumn leaves are turning to the color of her hair.

      this is the point that i caught on to what you were saying, that i became engaged. i like how you discard the hollywood-ized version of fall (though i actually they are pretty accurate in their depiction) for something deeper, more permanent and real. i like that.

      Reply
  8. Carey Rowland

    Fall is nothing more than life giving up on itself so that death will come and flutter it down to the ground in a frenzy of golden crimson glory until life comes and takes authority once again at some time in April or May. Really, it is nothing more than that. It has nothing to do with steaming coffee with vivial conversation, or brandy and intimate warmth, or the twinkling eyes of one who stole your heart many harvest moons ago. It has nothing to do with all that faded romance or frosted glory, even though the autumn leaves are turning to the color of her hair. No, fall is when you understand that the fleeting feigned permanency of life is celebrated most intensely because one true life-mate has come and rescued you from all that old romantic nonsense, and then spent more quivering autumns with you than you had felt before all that misty memory occupied your mind. Truly, that is all fall is.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Yes, Carey. Excellent.

      This is my favorite, “nothing more than life giving up on itself so that death will come and flutter it down to the ground in a frenzy of golden crimson glory.” Although, I might have put a period between that and the next phrase.

      And I love the (almost) refrain, “Fall is nothing more than that.”

      I don’t know what the old romantic nonsense is, that was a bit obscure. But I did like the references to the “one who stole your heart” and was wondering whose hair you are referring to.

      Reply
    • Adriana Willey

      even though the autumn leaves are turning to the color of her hair.

      this is the point that i caught on to what you were saying, that i became engaged. i like how you discard the hollywood-ized version of fall (though i actually they are pretty accurate in their depiction) for something deeper, more permanent and real. i like that.

      Reply
  9. Hope Naomi

    I opened the door and was met with a gust of chilly air. The hair stood up on my arms and my heart sank. No, please no. I turned toward the sun and glared. It deceitfully looked the same as it did during summer, but I knew it wasn’t the same. It was weaker. Unable to provide me protection from the cold. Why must you let me down?

    Before slamming the door, I stopped for a moment and closed my eyes. I saw leaves falling and dancing on her tombstone. I felt the same numb feeling that paralyzed my body as her casket was lowered into the ground. Was it cold outside? I didn’t know. The goosebumps on my arms were the only sign that it was. I remember looking at them curiously, and wondering if I was having an out of body experience.

    I opened my eyes, confused. Where was I? Was it last fall again? No, please no.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      I like the mystery. I wonder where this is going?

      Are you angry at death or at God or the weather or all at once?

      Reply
    • Anne Peterson

      I picked up you were angry at death. Me too. Could resonate with this. Lots of feelings packed into few words.

      Reply
  10. Hope Naomi

    I opened the door and was met with a gust of chilly air. The hair stood up on my arms and my heart sank. No, please no. I turned toward the sun and glared. It deceitfully looked the same as it did during summer, but I knew it wasn’t the same. It was weaker. Unable to provide me protection from the cold. Why must you let me down?

    Before slamming the door, I stopped for a moment and closed my eyes. I saw leaves falling and dancing on her tombstone. I felt the same numb feeling that paralyzed my body as her casket was lowered into the ground. Was it cold outside? I didn’t know. The goosebumps on my arms were the only sign that it was. I remember looking at them curiously, and wondering if I was having an out of body experience.

    I opened my eyes, confused. Where was I? Was it last fall again? No, please no.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      I like the mystery. I wonder where this is going?

      Are you angry at death or at God or the weather or all at once?

      Reply
  11. Adriana Willey

    in autumn, i hear the wind. he is alive and leans into whisper. his words are gentle and flowing. they carry a cadence of up and down, loud and soft, strong and still. he tells me that it will all be ok, everything will turn out in the end. the silence is his breathing in.

    in autumn, i see passion. in red i see blood; in brown i see death; in green i see life. orange is fire, yellow is sun, purple is glory. in the fall i see colors unafraid of their own strength.

    in autumn, i feel the cold. it presses itself against my hot skin and brings relief. the cold lays its hand on mine, covering them completely, making them hard to move. with stiffened hands, i am forced to slow.

    in autumn, i taste apples. sauced, pied, spiced, cider-ed, left whole – i taste them all. slurp. gulp. crunch. wet, sweet, with a bitter end. mmm, fall is yummy.

    in autumn, i smell the earth. all the other senses have prepared me for this moment. i stand, a mere speck in the middle of this land. i lift my face to sniff deeply. the earth is carried to me by the wind, preserved by the cold, mixed with apples trees, and explained by the colors that i see.

    the earth – in the fall – is delicious.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      “the silence is his breathing in.” Wow, gorgeous personification. This one too, “The cold lays its hand on mine.”

      I don’t like this line as much, “in the fall i see colors unafraid of their own strength.” It’s a little too abstract for me. Why would colors be afraid of their own strength? Is that what colors are anyway, strong?

      Ha, nice interjection, “mmm, fall is yummy.”

      “The earth–in the fall–is delicious.” Great line.

      Reply
      • Adriana Willey

        as always, thanks for the feedback. it’s informative to me that you didn’t like the one line that i projected my feelings into the object (the colors). i think it was so personal that only i would have understood that line. reminds me that if i am going to do such a thing, there needs to be context within the piece itself – not just my brain. thank you for catching this so i could think on it longer. i do this often when i write.

        hey, i notice we don’t give you feedback on your practice that often. are you open to that?

        Reply
        • Joe Bunting

          Absolutely. Feedback away 🙂

          Reply
  12. Adriana Willey

    in autumn, i hear the wind. he is alive and leans into whisper. his words are gentle and flowing. they carry a cadence of up and down, loud and soft, strong and still. he tells me that it will all be ok, everything will turn out in the end. the silence is his breathing in.

    in autumn, i see passion. in red i see blood; in brown i see death; in green i see life. orange is fire, yellow is sun, purple is glory. in the fall i see colors unafraid of their own strength.

    in autumn, i feel the cold. it presses itself against my hot skin and brings relief. the cold lays its hand on mine, covering them completely, making them hard to move. with stiffened hands, i am forced to slow.

    in autumn, i taste apples. sauced, pied, spiced, cider-ed, left whole – i taste them all. slurp. gulp. crunch. wet, sweet, with a bitter end. mmm, fall is yummy.

    in autumn, i smell the earth. all the other senses have prepared me for this moment. i stand, a mere speck in the middle of this land. i lift my face to sniff deeply. the earth is carried to me by the wind, preserved by the cold, mixed with apples trees, and explained by the colors that i see.

    the earth – in the fall – is delicious.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      “the silence is his breathing in.” Wow, gorgeous personification. This one too, “The cold lays its hand on mine.”

      I don’t like this line as much, “in the fall i see colors unafraid of their own strength.” It’s a little too abstract for me. Why would colors be afraid of their own strength? Is that what colors are anyway, strong?

      Ha, nice interjection, “mmm, fall is yummy.”

      “The earth–in the fall–is delicious.” Great line.

      Reply
      • Adriana Willey

        as always, thanks for the feedback. it’s informative to me that you didn’t like the one line that i projected my feelings into the object (the colors). i think it was so personal that only i would have understood that line. reminds me that if i am going to do such a thing, there needs to be context within the piece itself – not just my brain. thank you for catching this so i could think on it longer. i do this often when i write.

        hey, i notice we don’t give you feedback on your practice that often. are you open to that?

        Reply
        • Joe Bunting

          Absolutely. Feedback away 🙂

          Reply
  13. Kati Lane

    (I heard somewhere that when writing a novel you should incorporate things from your day into your writing. So I took my fall moment — tumbling with my sister in a huge pile of leaves that my dad had raked up — and I incorporated it into a scene in my nanowrimo experiment.)

    I need to get on with what happened once the ambulance left with my dad.
    But tonight I’d rather talk about autumn leaves.
    ***
    Three months after Trent started taking note of me at work, he talks me into taking lunch at the park next to the lab. The oak trees sparkle that golden yellow hue, and the aspens clink their muffled sounds.

    We come into a clearing. We see a mountain of leaves, shuffling, crunching. Suddenly one tiny head pops up. More rustling, then tiny head number 2. More scuffle-ing, then tiny head number 3. Soon six arms, three torsos, and six legs appear, but never all at the same time. They are laughing, rolling, throwing leaves into each others’ hair. Trent’s face lights up. He bursts out laughing, a certain kind of laugh that makes me want to laugh, too.

    My eyes are drawn to two red wagons a bit further into the clearing. One holds three stuffed bears, the other a small pile of pink socks and dirty white shoes. And then, I see a man beside the wagons, leaning heavy against a rake. He has an odd look of delight on his face. Same as the look I just saw in Trent.

    Trent follows my gaze. He too, sees the man and notes his happy fatigue. He tells me the look is about total immersion, the absorption that comes from working to give the people you love something completely good.

    I think it’s presumptuous to say you know something when you don’t have the facts to back up your claim. When I start to tell him so, his face muscles go slack and his eyes glaze into the aspen-soaked path ahead.

    In an instant, his face had morphed from simple delight into something I can’t name. And I decide in that moment that I’m going to see this guy again.

    * * * *
    Six weeks later, I learn that the day Trent turned 16, and his mother finally walked away for good, he became the guy with the rake for 3 triplet girls, and a toddler boy named Earl.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Kati, I’m so sorry I missed this because it’s so good!

      This is such a good paragraph,

      “Three months after Trent started taking note of me at work, he talks me into taking lunch at the park next to the lab. The oak trees sparkle that golden yellow hue, and the aspens clink their muffled sounds. ”

      You perfectly set it up as a “date” that you’re not so sure about. And then beautifully and seamlessly transition to the park. Where’d you learn to transition like that? I’m going to steal this technique from you.

      The pile of leaves is surprising and fun and childlike in a way we can all relate to. I like it. Then you complicate it by the interaction between Trent and the man with the rake. I was a little confused about that last paragraph, but once I got what you meant I was struck by its power. These are interesting characters, Kati. You’ve got something here.

      Reply
      • Kati Lane

        Thanks. You make a good point about the last paragraph, i was curious about the result it would create. confusion is okay i guess…but only if it motivates a reader to go back and try to figure it out.

        Sometimes I worry if the subtle messages i try to hide into a piece are so hidden they’re missed altogether, or if they are picked up on but just frustrate the reader because they’re too hard to understand. But Tim tells me its okay to ask a lot of a reader. He also says i should offer things with an open hand (i don’t have to control what my readers learn). it’s been hard for me not to be an over-talker in my writing. but poetry, and now fiction, help me because they both demand so much. poetry demands economy, and — like you say every so often — fiction works best when there is more showing than telling. thanks again for your time to read our stuff carefully!

        Reply
    • catmorrell

      I am glad you added the last paragraph. It gave closure for me and an understanding of Trent’s change in attitude.

      Reply
    • Kiki Stamatiou

      Such beautiful, captivating images bringing out such mesmerizing details. The scenes are so full of life exploding with such radiant color.

      Reply
  14. kati

    (I heard somewhere that when writing a novel you should incorporate things from your day into your writing. So I took my fall moment — tumbling with my sister in a huge pile of leaves that my dad had raked up — and I incorporated it into a scene in my nanowrimo experiment.)

    I need to get on with what happened once the ambulance left with my dad.
    But tonight I’d rather talk about autumn leaves.
    ***
    Three months after Trent started taking note of me at work, he talks me into taking lunch at the park next to the lab. The oak trees sparkle that golden yellow hue, and the aspens clink their muffled sounds.

    We come into a clearing. We see a mountain of leaves, shuffling, crunching. Suddenly one tiny head pops up. More rustling, then tiny head number 2. More scuffle-ing, then tiny head number 3. Soon six arms, three torsos, and six legs appear, but never all at the same time. They are laughing, rolling, throwing leaves into each others’ hair. Trent’s face lights up. He bursts out laughing, a certain kind of laugh that makes me want to laugh, too.

    My eyes are drawn to two red wagons a bit further into the clearing. One holds three stuffed bears, the other a small pile of pink socks and dirty white shoes. And then, I see a man beside the wagons, leaning heavy against a rake. He has an odd look of delight on his face. Same as the look I just saw in Trent.

    Trent follows my gaze. He too, sees the man and notes his happy fatigue. He tells me the look is about total immersion, the absorption that comes from working to give the people you love something completely good.

    I think it’s presumptuous to say you know something when you don’t have the facts to back up your claim. When I start to tell him so, his face muscles go slack and his eyes glaze into the aspen-soaked path ahead.

    In an instant, his face had morphed from simple delight into something I can’t name. And I decide in that moment that I’m going to see this guy again.

    * * * *
    Six weeks later, I learn that the day Trent turned 16, and his mother finally walked away for good, he became the guy with the rake for 3 triplet girls, and a toddler boy named Earl.

    Reply
    • Joe Bunting

      Kati, I’m so sorry I missed this because it’s so good!

      This is such a good paragraph,

      “Three months after Trent started taking note of me at work, he talks me into taking lunch at the park next to the lab. The oak trees sparkle that golden yellow hue, and the aspens clink their muffled sounds. ”

      You perfectly set it up as a “date” that you’re not so sure about. And then beautifully and seamlessly transition to the park. Where’d you learn to transition like that? I’m going to steal this technique from you.

      The pile of leaves is surprising and fun and childlike in a way we can all relate to. I like it. Then you complicate it by the interaction between Trent and the man with the rake. I was a little confused about that last paragraph, but once I got what you meant I was struck by its power. These are interesting characters, Kati. You’ve got something here.

      Reply
      • kati

        Thanks. You make a good point about the last paragraph, i was curious about the result it would create. confusion is okay i guess…but only if it motivates a reader to go back and try to figure it out.

        Sometimes I worry if the subtle messages i try to hide into a piece are so hidden they’re missed altogether, or if they are picked up on but just frustrate the reader because they’re too hard to understand. But Tim tells me its okay to ask a lot of a reader. He also says i should offer things with an open hand (i don’t have to control what my readers learn). it’s been hard for me not to be an over-talker in my writing. but poetry, and now fiction, help me because they both demand so much. poetry demands economy, and — like you say every so often — fiction works best when there is more showing than telling. thanks again for your time to read our stuff carefully!

        Reply
  15. Christine

    Fall; I turn my closet inside out; rearrange the hangers and
    put the summer things in the back of the closet, farthest from my reach. The open toed shoes and sandals moved to
    allow the closed toe shoes space front and center. It doesn’t take very long. As a matter of fact, it was only fifteen
    minutes. So a casual Sunday afternoon
    trip to my favorite clothing store becomes necessary.

    Fall; football all weekend, gearing up for the world series
    and gardening shears to prune the roses for the coming of winter. Pool drained and supplies stored until next
    year. Cooler months mean open windows
    and a dry breeze blowing through the house.
    Rainy weather with a hit-and-miss shower across the hill country makes
    the rivers rise and the lakes fill. The Bermuda
    grass readies itself for dormancy and begins to wither and shrivel and turn
    slightly brown.

    Fall; it is a time to retreat and regroup, a time to reorder
    and rejuvenate with celebrations and quiet moments. We all live for fall.

    Reply
    • Anne Peterson

      i agree that we do rejuvenate and have quiet moments. Sometimes with candles lit. The only thing I have against fall is what follows. Liked your post and your imagery.

      Reply
      • Christine

        Thank you Anne.

        Reply
  16. Anne Peterson

    The Real Story about Leaves

    All my life I’ve thought of leaves as helpless. Sure they get a time of glory before their number is up. Some of them become spectacular and have people oohing and ahhing all over the place. They show up on calendars in the autumn months. Kid’s draw them and trace them. Even in their death they supply satisfaction as children crunch them underneath little feet.

    Trees are full of leaves that I thought hung on till their time was up and then float down.

    But I’ve had a change of mind. A transformation if you will.

    Sure, there are trees who succumb to strong winds and watch their little leaves stripped and blown far and beyond. Everyone knows that happens.

    People can look out their windows and see a tree with half their leaves and following a gust of wind be stripped of half of them. Yes that goes without saying, and yet it needed to be said.

    But I’m talking about something very different. I’m talking about what I witnessed that I just have to share. It wouldn’t be right if I kept it to myself.

    I think leaves jump. I think they decide when they will give themselves over to the wind and they just let go and ride that wind to their resting place.

    Leaves are not victims. They do not have to hang there as they watch loved leaves leave before them. They don’t have to crumple up before their time just waiting to see when their number is up.

    No, I witnessed it myself.

    I watched some leaves in living color. Once green then in between and finally a brilliant red. A red that glowed and seemed transparent.

    I watched those leaves and could hardly take my eyes off of them. I felt like I somehow became part of the tree as I saw their swaying, watched their tenacity. And then it was wonderful to watch. They simply released their little hold on life. They submitted to a force greater than them and with all the dignity in their veins they let go.

    It makes me feel differently about leaves, about trees for that matter.

    I mean I read where in the end trees will actually clap their hands. Now that will take some will power, don’t you think?

    So leaves have more to them than just a thin membrane that reflects color. They have life.

    In the spring you see them poke little heads out as they first appear as buds. Desperately they try to compete with the blossoms some trees display, but alas, it is pointless. The blossoms emit a smell that mesmerizes.

    Then in summer people find shelter underneath them. Are they thanked? Hardly. And yet, you will see people rush to be beneath the shade they provide.

    I think we need to give leaves more credit.

    And so, I thought it was time to let the world know. Yes, some leaves do fall. But it’s also true, some leaves jump.

    Oh, there goes one now. Bravo!

    Reply
    • Belinda Arch

      Wonderful Neverland tones. Your story made smile broadly at the imagery of leaves’ joyous jumps into the winds that carry them onward. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Reply
      • Anne Peterson

        Thanks, Belinda. It was fun writing it.

        Reply
    • Katie Hamer

      I really enjoyed reading your story, which breathes life into leaves. I love this ‘In the spring you see them poke little heads out as they first appear as buds. Desperately they try to compete with the blossoms some trees display, but alas, it is pointless. The blossoms emit a smell that mesmerizes.’ I really smelt the blossom. Like Belinda, I’m also very glad you shared your story here 🙂

      Reply
      • Anne Peterson

        Thanks Katie. I appreciate your comments so much.

        Reply
  17. Belinda Arch

    Autumn. I always feel melancholy at the change of the season, particularly as the weather cools into the months of March to May. Its not so much that the land changes, in most of Australia and where I am currently living the summer is so scorching that the flora here has already mostly died off and is well and truly browned. Though there are places where you can see the leaves change colour but its not any place that I’ve ever afford to live, actually ever to even visit. The places where the real trees are kept and cared for and fed the precious water that might keep souls alive long enough to find a way out of this nightmare we created so long ago, are not for the likes of me, not that its an option anymore.

    I’ve seen what Autumn looked like all those years ago in the books before they too were snitched up into the history vaults. No the melancholy I feel for Autumn is for the 15 lives I sacrificed to test the portaviability device that the much lauded Dr Sanville assured us would save the whole world. It didn’t. It didn’t save anyone, it condemned us and those we trapped on the other side of prism.

    I sigh that now I’ve lived here so long that all the regret, rage, and heartache at the loss of our people and our home has now dwindled into the sad pathetic tones of melancholy. ‘Liv, I’m sorry to bother you ma’am but I think you should come and see this’. Liv put down the pen closing her journal as she stood and turned towards the door. A man stepped into the door way and Liv felt the blood run from her face. ‘Dr Sanville’ his voice low and cold, ‘we’ve been looking for you for a long time, will you come with me now please?’. It didn’t sound like a question. Dr Livia Sanville placed the journal discreetly on the corner of the desk and stepped toward the man she knew very well, ‘do I have a choice?’ her question rhetorical as she walked passed him and out the door. ‘No Liv, you don’t. You can’t possibly be surprised by that’. He close the door to her office and followed her out.

    Reply
    • Missaralee

      Ooooh, a little science fiction mystery for us! I’d like to know more about the end of this world and the prism device.

      Reply
      • Belinda Arch

        Cheers Missaralee 🙂 I’d like to know more too! It pretty amazing this writing caper, its an interesting experience this not knowing where the story is going to go while being the one on the keyboard. Si-Fi Mystery – you made me smile. Thanks.

        Reply
  18. Megan DaGata

    I was lost wandering around D.C. waiting for the museums to
    open. I had taken the commuter train into the city expecting to find throngs of
    people this cool November morning, but I found nothing except old newspapers
    blowing in the wind. I closed my eyes and inhaled the power, the history of
    this place. The cold air coursed through me and I pulled my coat tighter. I
    wasn’t lost exactly I had seen the scene many times on television. The
    proximity of the White House to the Lincoln memorial across the reflecting pool
    to the Washington monument, it was strangely familiar for never having been
    there before. I spotted the Vietnam Veterans memorial and somberly walked past the cold marble structure. The names so small you have to get up close to see them and press your hand to them and whisper a prayer for their sacrifice. I
    came around to the other side and found another reflecting pool, this one with ducks and leaves floating across the surface. Around the perimeter were trees. I have no idea what kind of trees I only know they were beautiful and unlike anything we had in Texas. They stood like sentinels with dark trunks and large purple leaves, perfectly spaced watching over the Veterans. At the end of the pool like a guard stood the most radiant yellow and orange leafed trees I had ever laid eyes on glowing like sunshine through the darkness. I walked to the coffee cart then sat on the park bench staring in awe at the beauty and heartache and said a grateful prayer.

    Reply
  19. matthewosgood82

    My dog stood still in the pile of leaves. At first she was afraid of the rake, but grew accustomed as my yard went from a layer of leaves to piles of orange, yellow, red and brown dotting the landscape of a once-manicured lawn. The cool chill on the top of my cheekbones faded with the exertion.

    It’s this in-between period that’s hard to read. Symbolically, we’ve been over it a million times. English teachers and philosophers, scientists and theologists denote different definitions of autumn, but, for me, it’s the period of maybe. Maybe it’ll cool down enough so we’ll need extra blankets tonight; Maybe we’ll be fortunate to get that week were summer wants to hold on those extra hours.

    These are the days of mindfulness. We schedule hikes that overlook valleys of foliage. We make chilis and soups to go with Sunday afternoon football games, feeling their warmth and spice as we over-induldge. We sneak a little closer to our spouses under the cover of a soft blanket. We feel the light autumn sweep through the apple trees.

    I used to be afraid of autumn. The start of school, the summer loves packing their things. The constraints of a routine overshadows the freedom of summer. This has always hurt.

    Reply
  20. James Hall

    I don’t think I’ve shared my To Autumn short story with The Write Practice community. Since the line I write about the leaves is probably my favorite, I would love to share it with you wonderful writers!

    I might come back and write a new story, too! I’ll be back!

    Reply
    • Katie Hamer

      It’s definitely worth a read. It’s short, as short stories go, but packed full of emotion and meaning. Very thought-provoking.

      Reply
  21. Guest

    Kay sat gazing out the window of her bedroom, mesmerized by the beauty overhead. What is it about the blue of September skies that makes it so special from all the rest? She was sure there was a scientific explanation having to do with the angle of the sun this time of year, or some other equally-as-boring reason for its uniqueness. But Kay preferred to imagine it like a divine (either small or big “d”) overture playing a sentimental recap of summer that gracefully segued to a seductive preview of the coming autumn.

    Reply
  22. Delora Dennis

    Kay sat gazing out the window of her bedroom, mesmerized by the beauty overhead.

    What is it about the blue of September skies that makes it so special from all the rest?

    She was sure there was a scientific explanation having to do with the angle of the sun this time of year, or some other equally-as-boring reason for its uniqueness. But Kay preferred to imagine it like a divine (either small or big “d”) overture playing a sentimental recap of summer that gracefully segued to a seductive preview of the coming autumn.

    Reply
  23. Gill Andrews

    It was 11 years and 25 days ago, but there are some things in life one never forgets. The bus driver stopped at the middle of the road and told me to get
    off right there. The way to the bus stop was blocked by construction work. And
    so I got off in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country
    I have never been to before. The bus drove away leaving me and my suitcase on
    an empty road. I took a deep breath and looked around. A quiet street on a
    September evening. Cars parked on a side walk, roofs covered with leaves. Leaves everywhere. Red, yellow, green. A wind blow, and here they come, dancing in the air till they silently reach the ground.

    It was 11 years and 25 days ago, but there are some things in life one never
    forgets. Every year when autumn dyes the trees yellow, when the leaves rustle
    under my steps, I take a deep breath and smell something in that autumn air
    that always makes me remember that day I finally reached home.

    Reply
  24. Missaralee

    Don’t go into the woods. The leaves are piled deep in the dark. The crush of boots and the rise of musty scent would bring THEM near. They fear the colour of the dying wood. Green was bad enough, but the symphony of red and yellow and orange reaching a crescendo in the silent woods would unravel their plans so carefully set. When the moon looms high over the sleeping wood, stay on the path. Make not a sound in the dark, stay not a second in the silver pooled light or the Grey Men will come for you to snuff out your light.

    Reply
    • Belinda Arch

      Characters reactive to colour. Nice one. I haven’t read something like that before. Let’s hope i’m not trying to explain to my mate the creeped-out felling I’ve got on my next woods walk 😉

      Reply
  25. Ruth

    Not since childhood had she seen leaves like this, when walking to school through a golden carpeted walkway. The Blue Ridge Parkway made her gasp as crimson dogwoods, flaming maples and oaks fell into bouquets across the hills. Each vista exposed a new canvas painted in autumn’s finest hues. As the sun set over the western ridge, a deep rosy glow extended its fingers across the entire masterpiece. She pulled off the road for a moment and stared, holding her breath lest the magic disappear. Breathing in the cool, damp air she was joined by the chirp of a single chickadee basking in the waning light. Like a child, her cares fell away in the quiet beauty. A single tear spilled across her cheek.

    Reply
    • Katie Hamer

      You’ve painted vividly such a sweet memory. I can picture it as if I was there. Sometimes you just have to take a moment to reflect. I can relate to that.

      Reply
    • Anne Peterson

      Ruth,

      I liked your descriptions. Especially,” a deep rosy glow extended it’s fingers…” Really nice.

      Reply
  26. the fall guy

    The smell came first.
    Then as I’d walk along, scuffing my feet deliberately in the scatterings
    of crisp downed leaves, reveling in their crackling, I’d come upon strangely
    huge heaps of them, orange, brown, and scarlet, with tendrils of blue smoke
    giving off that enticing, compelling aroma of fall.

    Sometimes the piles of leaves would be surmounted by a
    flicker of orange flame, other times they’d simply smolder. Strangely, I never seemed to see the
    ashheaps that such burning must entail.
    It’s as though the pilers-up of these aromatic monuments to Autumn never
    allowed them to burn clear down to the asphalt roadway, but quickly gathered
    newly fallen fire-fodder to reinvigorate the ritual.

    Sometimes shards of pumpkin would be visible near these
    piles, depending on the date being late October or early November. The smell of raw pumpkin, ahh, that’s a
    memory. The luxuriant taste of
    freshly made, gleaming pumpkin pie, another. And the look in Jackie’s eyes when I’d carved her name in
    the huge pumpkin we’d won in the ‘guess the weight’ contest at Fred’s Market…

    There was the tangy, acrid smell of the furnace being run
    for the first time, invisibly blowing the accumulated dust of half a year into
    the air. The gentle transition
    from a cool beer on a warm deck to a glass of Shiraz on the sofa, with drops of
    condensation forming on the picture window as a cherrywood fire winked and hummed
    in the fireplace (good dry cherry never crackles), was an inevitable
    demarcation between the unbounded freedom of summer and the condensed,
    self-contained sheltering of the season of snow to come. Winter coats would be found. Gloves, unthinkable in July, became
    inevitable in November… Jackie’s
    ski stuff would be retrieved from the attic…

    I watched a gleaming white cattle ibis strut its stately way
    along the sand between impossibly tall swaying coconut palms. Leaning to my left, I retrieved my
    cellphone from the orange beachy duffle I’d been using as luggage for the past
    three months.

    “No thanks”, I said to the florid faced, flower shirted
    waiter who had been politely plying me with mai-tais all afternoon.

    I speed-dialled a number. It was time to go home to New York. Or at least, try.

    Reply
  27. Brianna Worlds

    Autumn has always considered a certain, intoxicating atmosphere for me. The aroma of decaying foliage mixes with the rich flavour of rain on the forest floor. The crash of bright, exotic colours that mixes and flares on the reaching branches of trees, stark and beautiful against the frosty blue sky beyond. The sharp, not entirely unpleasant cut of the air that cleans out your lungs and not without a bite to remind you how great it is to be alive.
    ~~~
    Not feeling inspired right now… That’s all I’ve got 🙂

    Reply
    • Katie Hamer

      You’ve made a good start here, Brianna. You’ve created a sensory experience I can see, smell and touch. It kinda makes me want to go for a walk right now. Here, it’s not frosty. The sun is out, making the Autumn leaves all golden. Who could resist?

      Reply
      • Brianna Worlds

        Thank you! 🙂

        Reply
  28. Gill Andrews

    Sorry, had to repost due to some mistakes
    —————————————————–

    It was 11 years and 25 days ago, but there are some things in life one
    never forgets.

    The bus driver stopped in the middle of the road and told me to get off
    right there. The way to the bus stop was blocked by construction work. And so I
    got off in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of nowhere in a foreign country
    I have never been to before. The bus drove away leaving me and my suitcase on an empty road. I took a deep breath and looked around. A quiet street on a
    September evening. Cars parked on a side walk, their roofs covered with leaves. Leaves everywhere. Red, yellow, green. A wind blow, and here they come, dancing in the air till they silently reach the ground.

    It was 11 years and 25 days ago, but there are some things in life one never forgets. Every year when the sun dyes the trees yellow, when the leaves rustle under my steps, I take a deep breath and smell something in that autumn air that always makes me remember the day I finally reached home.

    Reply
    • Belinda Arch

      Hi Gill, I like the last paragraph it feels like a story could start right there.

      In your main para, I felt like I was pulled around by the imagery, for example, ‘in the middle of the road’, ‘in the middle of nowhere’, ‘on an empty road’, but then on a ‘quiet street’ and with ‘cars parked on a side walk’ as descriptions of the same place. I might have a different visual image of ‘nowhere’ thanks to the Australian outback but a nowhere scape and a street scape feel very different to me.

      Thanks for sharing your words.

      Reply
      • Gill Andrews

        Hi Belinda. Thank you very much for taking the time to read.
        This is such an interesting observation you made there! Indeed, there is no such thing as “Australian in the middle of nowhere” in overpopulated Europe. So when I say “in the middle of nowhere” i usually mean an unknown place with few or none people, where there is nothing nearby that can help you identify where to go. When I think back, in this case it also describes rather my feeling than a place. I got off not at the bus stop as expected, but some other completely unknown place where there was nothing around except trees, some small houses and cars. So it literary felt like “the middle of nowhere”. I never thought about that this could mean something entirely different to other people 🙂 Thanks for pointing it out!

        Reply
        • Belinda Arch

          Oh you were in Europe 😀 I was secretly wondering, hehe.
          It is interesting how its all different for different folks isn’t it 🙂 Here in Australia, even when in one of our crowded cities most locals are still acutely aware of the great nowhere laying not far beyond the suburban sprawl. You’ve made me think about how description works for a reader.
          Cheers for your feedback too.

          Reply
  29. Katie Hamer

    Hi Joe. I loved your Autumn story. Here’s my practice:

    This is where I played hide-and-seek when I was little. Here, where the beech trees drop their spent leaves, forming a soft carpet under-foot. The woodland forms a maze of paths, each weaving its way through a series of dips and hollows. Ancient tree roots thread their way across the surface of the hollows forming raised knotted veins.

    For me, and my brother, being here as children was just a fun day out. Chasing each other, we hollered our way through the woods, pretending to be cowboys and Indians.

    However the forest had a more serious side. The dips and hollows that I loved, as a child, hadn’t been formed by a sublime act of nature. They were there for a reason.

    Nearly a century before I had set foot here, grown men had shaped these dips. Their specific intention was to hide in them in order to practice warfare. Nature had reclaimed them, but couldn’t eradicate entirely their past. For these were the
    practice trenches for the Great War. The men who trained in these woods later
    fought in the trenches at Flanders. Many didn’t return.

    Reply
  30. catmorrell

    Autumn, my favorite time of year and life. Funny, I wrote this little exercise for writing group, yesterday, before looking at this practice prompt.

    *****

    Click, click click, the solar flowers tick like my aunt’s old Keininger rose mantel clock, soothing. The dryer hums counter point, with the children in the park next door laughing and squealing the melody of days gone by.

    The old maple sheds one brown leaf at a time, still mostly green and yellow, holding tightly to it’s youth.

    Enjoying this season of my life. Striving to be as content and beautiful as the warm colored trees. Peace is the gift of aging while the sun casts long shadows signaling the end to another perfect day.

    Reply
  31. kat

    (More poetry, but it’s still writing)
    four girls
    printed sand
    two-on-two
    ball in hand
    sleeves rolled down
    chilly air
    dusty knees
    ball is fair
    drifting leaves
    sides reverse
    play resumes
    bodies terse
    shoulder swings
    wrist snaps down
    sand sprays up
    four hearts pound
    dipping sun
    golden blur
    sandals on
    home returns
    hugs around
    glistening eyes
    fall hellos
    and summer goodbyes.

    Reply
  32. Bev L.

    Never posted anything before – I’ve never used facebook or twitter or anything so not sure I’m posting correctly but here goes my ‘out of place’ practice:
    I stretched my arm to balance the black bin against my hip, coffee mug in my other hand as I used the bottom of my shoe to nudge the car door closed. The lobby door was already propped open so Linda could breathe summer air while watching the world go by in the parking lot as she occasionally peered up from the screen of her laptop. “Hey”, she said glancing up as I angled into the lobby with my load. “I have more in the trunk”, I answered, setting my first bin on the table. “Two bins full. I was outside ‘til almost dark getting the stupid things scrubbed.” By now I was mumbling more than talking, heading down the hallway to get the cart.

    I should’ve just pulled my car around the side of the building and set the gourds out by the tables of pumpkins and watermelons, but I hated being outside with the produce – someone invariably stopped when I was out there, then tried to figure out who I was by asking round-about questions that would piece it together for them. If that didn’t work, they’d come right out and ask ‘now, who are you?’ It would start with “where are these grown?” as they gestured to the pumpkins on the table. “Bloomsdale” I’d answer, and they’d throw out the name of any farm in Bloomsdale, knowing that I’d have to say no, we live out on ‘X’ road. “Who has a farm out there?” And when I gave our last name, my cheeks burning under the scrutiny, they kept going until they named enough people with my last name, to figure out exactly where I fit into the scheme of things.
    They weren’t happy until they knew who I was married to, and who his
    family was.

    I’m a very private person; anti-social even. Few people know who I am by sight. This is a good thing in a town where gossip is the true currency.

    Now for a transaction of two or three dollars, I dodge questions and feign interest in who’s married to this person’s son, or did one of my relatives work at the hotel a few years back, “seems like I remember a Tanner working there…” I want to interrupt with “This isn’t even my stuff – I have to get back inside to my real job, so buy a pumpkin or don’t, makes me no difference!”

    But I can’t do that because my husband has decided he’d like to farm on his time off. So we haul this stuff in here every morning and set the tables with our imperfect produce. Marks left by too many dry days in a row, or too many rainy days and nights. We can’t remove the cracks and scars that mother nature haphazardly flings onto everything; sweet potatoes with crevasses, pale marks where the gourds sat plump and waiting on the damp ground. Gray-haired ladies lift and examine, judging.

    Reply
  33. Bev L.

    sorry – posted below to wrong link and don’t know how to move it – should’ve been the ‘out of place’ link.

    Reply
  34. LKG

    “It’s not like it was,” I tell my children as we kick a smattering of damp leaves from the sidewalk.
    They each snatch a soggy maple leaf from the concrete and hold it aloft, letting the rain drip from it and onto their heads. “It was better when I was a kid,” I insist. My mind wandered to a faded photo I discovered in the bottom drawer. My sister and I and our little dog, posing before a hand-sheaved corn shock in the backyard. I was seven, maybe eight, my sister was twelve.
    Our dad took that photo with his Polaroid Insta-matic, so proud of his self-taught photography skills. We had enormous piles of leaves, gathered together with the help of the lawn sweeper, unwillingly operated by one of my older brothers. The piles that weren’t used for jumping in were made into bonfires for cooking our hotdogs and marshmallows over.
    Chilly nights were warmed, and our friends and neighbors visited every day for the enjoyment of leaping from the swing-set into the leaves. My children, living in this nearly treeless subdivision are surrounded by concrete sidewalks and families with too-cautious parents who won’t let them meet the neighbors. They are unknowingly bereft of those Autumn adventures. “It was better then.”

    Reply
  35. Jodi Sway (pen name)

    It’s my favorite time of year, when nature struts flamboyance no fashion designer can touch.

    If it weren’t a yearly thing, I’d almost swear it was magic, the way trees shed their vibrant greens for gold, red and brown.

    It’s not until October that I feel the season coming, the one that makes me eager for those cooler, shorter nights.

    I’m from Down South, where summer heat hangs tough. I wait eagerly for our first day of fall. Just the word itself seems to conjure breezy days.

    When the sun sets earlier and the wind begins to chill, and
    colored coats of every tree transform I cry, “Relief!”

    Yes, relief. Fall is under way.

    Reply
  36. Kiki Stamatiou

    Prompt #13: I Stood In My Backyard Overlooking The Fields
    By Kiki Stamatiou a. k. a. Joanna Maharis

    I stood in my backyard overlooking the fields covered with leaves. I saw the blanketed collage surrounding every step of the path. Reminders of yesteryear from when I was a small child overlooking the life now just a few faint breaths radiating from left over age of the country.

    I watch the birds fly into their nest. I can hear them chirping while teaching their children to fly. A baby sparrow took its first steps off of the branch, ascended into the air taking flight, then dove down only to rise again. The little bird flew high up into the grey skies as the rain settled onto my flesh. Just little droplets of tears given off by the angels up in heaven guarding the gates allowing access to the Lord’s latest flock of children to take homage and passage into the realms of the beyond.

    As I stood there overlooking the fields where the leaves of gold, red, and brown blanketed the earth, I thought about the times my brothers and I tossed a football around in the yard with our cousins, and closest friends. I remembered the barbeques we had in the summer time celebrating my birthday.

    However, fall is a time where the phoenix goes into the earth comprised of ashes, such as the leaves do when they wither and die. They become food for a new lineage line of
    plants that will emerge in the spring. The earth is replenished of its sustenance. In a realm of the dead, the new life is carried away into the masses of they who await to welcome him home.

    I hear the sounds of birds teaching their young the ways of the world. As they get lost in the world of survival, only the strong will survive and go on to dominate in a world filled with tears wear war breaks out overseas. Yet, I remain humble as I look on at the sight before me.

    I can see a squirrel gathering nuts for the winter in the distance and burying them into the earth. The warmth they shall receive shall keep them until the night falls on the heads of the living. There are no empty roads. For there are only roads filled with promise, regardless of the obstacles getting in the way of success. For every light found within nature, each leaf is counted as a life no gone, but not forgotten.

    Sending out their signals to the latter part of the world, the pigeons soar high into the heavens in a beauty arrow shape they form when in alignment. Now they are soldiers of the Lord. For one day, they to will become angels in the wake of my dreams.

    Drifters come, and drifters go, but elongated are the streams of the heart, when the light of heaven unfolds in a leaf fallen to the ground, and now rests on top of my feet, gathered around piles and piles of other leaves who have also met their match and taken their stance of the wiles of their dance.

    May the wisdom of the birds be carried out and live in the hearts of man for ages to come.

    © Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015

    Reply
  37. grantburkhardt

    In the middle of my tenth autumn, the day after my best friend moved away from the house next door, I tried to climb a tree. I had never attempted something so bold before, mostly because I was and am still not a very coordinated boy. The tree wasn’t tall but as I remember it only had a few foot holds. It is gone now. It looked like a pair of hands, joined at the wrists, ready to clap.

    I placed my foot in the V and stepped up the right side of the tree, an inch or two at a time. After a while and many short breaths, I had ascended about five feet. It was as high as I’d ever been unless you count being in a plane or standing on the back of the couch in the living room.

    There was no one around to see the climb, but I felt triumphant. I paused to see my world from a new angle. I noticed the roofs of the cars in the driveway, and in the hills past my friend’s old house I gazed at new homes and fresh woods, speeding up in anticipation of winter. The fall flies and when cold comes it flees. People do this, too. I do this, too.

    The jagged bark of my tree dug into my fingers. My hands still had a decent grip, but my weight was all behind me, all wrong, so when my foot slipped and I fell I did so down and back, ass first on the ground. My head bounced off the grass and my ears rang and after I opened my eyes I realized my leg was caught in the tree. I wiggled it. I tugged on it. I couldn’t reach my toes so I couldn’t try to pull on my shoe. I was stuck there, on the ground after having been in the air. I called for my parents and looked up at the tree, split open in the middle like it had been spliced by lightning.

    It’s leaves had changed already. I was laying on a bunch of them. They were brown and crinkled when I moved. I didn’t really know why the one I was caught in looked like it was dying faster than the other trees in the yard. I didn’t know that some things change quicker than others. I didn’t know why the tree had to die; the sky still rained warm water on occasion. I heaved a big breath and my chin tensed up and I cried.

    My parents rushed out of the house, frightened by the assumption that my tears were painful ones. My dad used a piece of lumber to pry the tree further apart and unhinge my leg. The crying had intensified to a sob.

    “Can we save it?” I said.

    “Your leg’s fine, don’t worry,” she said.

    “No, mom, the tree.”

    “What’s wrong with the tree?”

    “It’s losing its leaves faster than the other trees.”

    She hugged me a little harder. I felt her look up at the trees.

    “It’s just getting ready for the winter,” she said. “It’s only changing. That’s how it lives.”

    “Does it have to?”

    “It would have to die if it didn’t.”

    I was young and hysterical and full of longing then so I didn’t comprehend life’s purpose, but she held me and my dad wrapped up my scratched leg and we went inside.

    Reply
  38. Nadia

    I laid down on the cool grass, spreading my fingers through the soft, green blades. I was thankful that it was autumn time, for their were no bugs waiting in the grass, ready to bite me. I looked up, not blinded by the sun because of the cloudy weather. A leaf from the old maple tree next to my home fell from a branch, landing on my chest. I picked up with my hand, bringing it to my face so that I can see it’s distinctive patterns. It was a redish orange color, and the size of the leaf as large as my hand. I twirled it around on my fingertips, before letting it fall to my side. There are plenty more of those leaves in the pile of them that I had raked up yesterday. A nice breeze went through the air, sliding through my light jacket and onto my skin. I shivered, yet in a good way. I closed my eyes thinking; this is why fall is my favorite season of the year.

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  39. Ana D

    The Fall (teenager, English as my third language)

    Brown, yellow, red. Step after step I run into a different colour. It feels as though each encounter wants to tell me something. Dying, living, resting. I feel bad for stepping into them, and I cannot help but notice all the amount of brown-ish leafs piled on the side of the path by which I run.
    The palisade of black-ish iron on which the load of leafs rest, seems to want to reach its highest, as the arrow at the top shows its direction. Leaving on the bottom, the broken, dying leafs. Each howling breeze takes them away from the place they were, taking them into the deepest of the forest as if saying ‘that’s where you belong’.
    Again, step after step, now I even see orange, green and fuchsia. I leave behind me the darkest part of the way. Now, upon reaching the end of the path, a new world opens in front of me. The wind taking with it all the falling leafs from the trees. The sun letting its shinning light show me all the leafs flying. Another Autumn day awakes.

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