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These Leaves Falling

by Frank Coffman


These leaves falling on October lawn,

Fossils numberless of the tall trees wings,

Land dead-muddle in the mushroom rings.

Tree fingers lose their feel; the sap is drawn

Down from the tube tips.  The summer brawn

Is gone or going now.  Fall's seasonings

Effect more than the trees.  Its colorings

Pervade both flora and the close man-fawn

Who watches now as dawn is faintly red.

Here he will come to watch when fall has fled;

Here to this spot when the winds grow blow and brusk,

By tusks of the tall-fall, winter-splinter, husk-on-husk

Trees, he will stand and grow from the common bed

And wait with giant brothers for the russet dusk.

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Hi Frank, Welcome again to PMO. Nice Italian Sonnet with an interesting rhyme scheme for the sestet. Unique images of Fall in the opening of the poem but is at the pivot in L6 that the sonnet takes on its own life and begins to flow. I was just reading the lines up to that point and then I felt myself sitting up straighter and paying attention to not just the sounds but to the meaning and it felt cohesive and important. I'm looking forward to reading more of your work. ~~Tink

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Thanks, Tink

This is actually a sort of "juvenilium" I wrote this many autumns ago when a student at Millikin University (Decatur, IL) I was 20. It's likely influenced by my love of Hopkins and Dylan Thomas. My more recent stuff has been in the weird, horrific, supernatural, and speculative genre realms -- I've found a market there..

Best Regards,


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Frank, welcome to the forum. This is very nice work and certainly captures the current season here in southern New England. I hope you'll share more of your work, perhaps even some of the darker stuff you've mentioned.


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Many thanks, Tony. Most of my work finds it's way into sonnets of some sort. I've been experimenting with the various ways the quatorzain can be written. I'm done severeal in the Welsh meters and other foreign-to-English forms. I use it as a narrative more often these days than as a lyric form.

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