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01 October 2008

October Paint

We have been reading Carl Sandburg in our anthology of poetry this fall, and I am excited to get to October and share this one. Sandburg was from the Midwest, and travelled west, and indeed, that experience is evident in this piece of his poetry.

October Paint by Carl Sandburg

Flame blue wisps in the west,
Wrap yourselves in these leaves
And speak to winter about us.
Tell winter the whole story.

Red leaves up the oaken slabs,
You came little and green spats
Four months ago; your climbers
Put scroll after scroll around
The oaken slabs, "Red, come red,"
Some one with an October paint
Pot said, And here you are,
Fifty red arrowheads of leaf paint
Or fifty mystic fox footprints
Or fifty pointed thumbprints.
Hold on, the winds are to come
Blowing, blowing, the gray slabs
Will lose you, the winds will
Flick you away in a whiff
One by one, two by two... Yet
I have heard a rumor whispered;
Tattlers tell it to each other
Like a secret everybody knows...
Next year you will come again.
Up the oaken slabs you will put
Your pointed fox footprints
Green in the early summer
And you will be red arrowheads
In the falltime... Tattlers
Slip this into each other's ears
Like a secret everybody knows.
... If I see some one with an
October paint pot I shall be
Full of respect and say,
"I saw your thumbprints everywhere,
How do you do it?"

(art credit for Fall Leaves to my favorite of Western artists, Georgia O'Keefe),


sperlonga said...

Will has his complete works at his bedside. Must make for good bedtime reading. :)

C and J said...

Two of our favorites... Sandberg and O'Keefe! Lovely works... Thank you for the reminder of fall's arrival! XOXOXO, Mom