Between the hills of time I rise to meet the last of autumn still,
paused at moment’s pondering, with cup in hand near lea and rill.
The morning air does call me to kiss my love, my fall, goodbye,
to trek the path to timber’s edge, to meadow’s cirque where first snows fly.
So gather what I need and must, I set my path to cairns I trust.
Between the hills of time I walk along the rill that whispers still,
I leave the lea behind me with grateful steps to bless my will.
The grasses dry, and seedless,enwrap the feet of aspen groves
whose spotted bark stands white and bare, midst ruddy leaves heaped up in loaves.
The summer’s scrub that once was green stands burnt in tarnished autumn red,
portrays a pillow sweetly laid in meadow grass for winter’s bed.
The silent breath of morning prays undisturbed by wind’s caress,
yet joined by quiet prattling of falling leaves released to rest.
As the hills in confluence meet, the dell’s denied its fold,
leads me cresting rise and roll to stand at valley’s longest hold.
In the distance stand the Massives, the granite Kings and Queens of Earth,
that draw my journey westward in hope to witness winter’s birth.
As stream’s companion through the valley, I step in quiet contemplation,
drawing every whisper in that speaks anticipation.
At Massive’s knees the valley ends with guarding alpine fir,
whose dense and stretching boughs deny the slightest wind to stir.
So to climbing stream I must, to lead me to the cairns I trust.
Above the stream’s sharp climb I find a path that deer and elk must know.
In steps of theirs I follow, ‘til only echoes far below.
There I find the higher road that very few have seen.
There I rest within the sight of Massive King and Queen.
Through alpine thick, luxurious, I trod with gypsy song in heart
and sing until the green wood rings through echoes harmonized in part.
As through last twist of trail I climb, I rise upon the final crest,
where blowing snow does kindly greet and hide the Massives grey in dress.
I turn my face from stinging snow as wind whips cold toward autumn’s eye,
now caught between the Court of Kings and crystal azure sky.
Before the stolid cirque I kneel, courage facing King and Queen,
I beseech a moment’s council and beg the sun to grace the scene.
At their feet the marsh stands still, reverent yet commanding,
as I in drying grasses claim the truth of where I’m standing.
In whispered tones and crystal light, winter’s voice asked why I’m here.
With gracious bow and nod I said, “To find if winter’s edge is near.
I’ve come to seek the point of flux where sun and storm cast crystals blue.
I’ve come to vow my love of life and give my thanks to all of you.”
In sudden hush the clouds withdrew! The sun in glowing rays did stream
upon the cirque and meadow’s keep! Upon the face of King and Queen!
Awestruck from my lowly stance I raised my face to God above,
whispered kindly, “thank you! This moment blessed! This life is love!”
Gently in the warming air October’s court drew softly blue
and stood this life in sharp relief against the growing azure hue.
As winter’s force is master in October’s court of King and Queen,
with bows and some relenting, I turned to face the alpine green.
As I walked my path to home, I thought of Autumn’s fade,
knowing well her work was done and winter’s bed was surely made.
Today I gathered what I must along the cairns I’ve come to trust.