Eco Corner - Autumn

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It's Autumn again, and the leaves will be turning red and gold. In Japan, schoolchildren and family groups will be going on outings to Nikko and other resorts to see the hills aflame with Japanese maples, and the same will be true in Canada, whose flag features the maple leaf and also in the New England States of the U.S.A. Old England's woods may not be quite so spectacular, but enough to inspire the following poem, which I am quoting from memory, poet unknown.

The woods are on fire,
Or so it seems;
The funeral pyre
Of Summer's dreams?
Or one last burst of thankful praise
For long and lazy Summer's days?

Red, orange and yellow,
The leaves are turning,
But neither heat nor smoke
Nor smell of burning
Drift over the meadow where I stand.
Only the damp earthiness of Autumn
And a cool wind,
Rustling the glowing leaves,
Reaches me.
Now and again, a few fall,
Spiralling down to that same earth
Which gave them birth,
Their work well done.

Those that remain,
(No muted voices theirs)
Cling to each branch and twig,
Shouting defiance at all enemies.
Lord, in my yet remaining days,
Grant me such Autumn flowering
Of courage, life and love, and lively praise.

Bob Weighton

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