Autumn skies redux

Four years ago I posted about loving this season, so much so that my first website was called November Sky. And then I began publishing Autumn Sky Poetry, and Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY. This year I’m taking a break from publishing and trying to focus on writing and photography. Here are a few of this year’s autumn photos and a poem I wrote in 2005:


Strange Violet Behind Trees

—after Wolf Kahn

The house hides in dusk’s spangled purples.
It’s hard to see such colors, capricious
tones barely there once night has almost
sucked the light from the forest.
And silhouetted trees rear up
as I walk, interrupt the horizon,
their dry leaves muttering imprecations
in the magenta gleam of twilight.

You have gone and I must be careful:
the path has faded to mere shadow
and I can no longer understand
the exuberance of a leaf twisting
in the breeze. How does autumn tangle
everything so elegantly, as when crimson
replaces the decorous sheen of green?
Such willful ambiguity. I walk steadily.
The soft retreat of chlorophyll asks useless
questions. The mother tree sleeps
and misses the violet whoop of fall,
the overlapping dive of it all.

By now night has stolen
twilight’s indescribable glow.
Our house has quietly slid
into an atmospheric blur.
There is nothing more to see.
My darling, the violet has disappeared
and I’m not yet home but I can still feel
the brittle slump of frost behind the trees.


—first published on


Eastern Pennsylvania’s Pollen Extravangaza


The past few weeks have been challenging. It’s nothing life-threatening. Just a lot of changes and stuff all crammed into a small amount of time. The rest of the summer looks like more of the same. Because my head was near the esploding point this morning from stress, I went for a longer than normal weekday hike (1.5 hours instead of 30 minutes). I worried a bit about the pollen: everything is coated in yellow goop and I breathed that stuff in as I hiked. Happily, I survived without an asthma attack. I also managed to get a good workout (I hike very fast, and most of it was uphill over rocks) and see a few birds I’d often heard, but never set eyes on before. Here’s my list for today:

Ovenbird (holy moly, so LOUD)
Brown Thrasher (sweet, sweet song)
Indigo bunting
Eastern wood pewee
Rose breasted grosbeak (female)
Scarlet tanager (female)
Pileated woodpecker
Robin (of course!)
Red-bellied woodpecker
Northern Cardinal

I’m happy now. I have no idea what the purple flower is called. I don’t know what the one below is called, either, but they’re gorgeous, aren’t they? These are iPhone pics and I had to crouch over and avoid the poison ivy to get the shot. If I wake up itchy and cranky tomorrow, we will all know why.


#FirstCrocus #poem #spring






First Crocus

This morning, flowers cracked open
the earth’s brown shell. Spring
leaves spilled everywhere
though winter’s stern hand
could come down again at any moment
to break the delicate yolk
of a new bloom.

The crocus don’t see this as they chatter
beneath a cheerful petal of spring sky.
They ignore the air’s brisk arm
as they peer at their fresh stems, step
on the leftover fragments
of old leaves.

When the night wind twists them to pieces,
they will die like this: laughing,
tossing their brilliant heads
in the bitter air.

by Christine Klocek-Lim, first published on

Happy first day of spring.