Late Fall Sonnet

Oak Leaves


The leaves, the leaves are gone except the oak,
Which cling to trees and rattle needlessly.
The others flame and fall for all to see.
They streak and sizzle, leaving only smoke.
But oak leaves hang as by some unseen yoke,
All browned and curled awaiting sympathy,
Or sap to course and lend vitality —
The leaves cannot perceive the sorry joke.
For spring will end the lie and they will drop,
To drift and rot and turn in time to dust.
As sure as buds will burst to make a crop
Of new, the old will flutter down — they must.
The falling leaves like lovers never stop.
It’s hardly gentle, but ’tis just, ’tis just.


NOTES:  Robert Frost says a poem starts with a mood. Definitely true in this case.

This poem was written many years ago back in the Midwest, where it was easy to find oak trees. I’m told they exist out here in the Pacific Northwest, but you can’t prove it by me. I’ve been forced to resort to a stock photo, courtesy of Upsplash.


Published by

Bobby Ball

I love poetry. But I'm picky. No one pays me to read and write poems. It's more of a labor of love. I guess that puts me in good company. This is a project to discover why some poems strike you deep, deep down, while others leave you cold. I've got some ideas, and I'm eager to learn. I'll show you some of mine. Maybe we'll learn something new.

2 thoughts on “Late Fall Sonnet”

  1. Very nicely done. 40 years of truth. And, and I hardly believe it, I didn’t notice the not-so-obvious rhyme scheme until the third time through. Thanks.


    1. Thank you, Teacher. 40 years, yes. But many of those years were spent ignoring the muse.

      I’ll consider that a victory if the rhyme was so unobtrusive that you missed it.


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