Backlighting in Autumn

Long-forgotten chill
And diminishing sun
Perform their natural alchemy
On deciduous trees,
Transmute dark green
Scrub oak leaves
Into yellows, oranges,
Golds, and ruddy browns.
These scrawny survivors
Wring from hardscrabble lives
A severe kind of beauty.

Backlit by a fading sun,
A patch of glowing leaves
Lingers before nightfall,
Suspended in the air
As much as in time,
Then vanishes until morning –
Minus a few more leaves –
Backlit now by an eastern sun.

Wonders of the world
Come in small sizes,
Magnificence, not
A matter of scale,
But of wakeful
Eyes’ recognition
Of what soon passes
From sight.

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About the Author

Howard F. Stein is an applied, psychoanalytic, medical, and organizational anthropologist, psychohistorian, organizational consultant, and poet. He has published numerous articles, chapters, and books. He has published eleven books and chapbooks of poetry, of which the most recent are Presence - Poems from Ghost Ranch (2020), Centre and Circumference (2018), and Light and Shadow ( 2018).

Howard Stein
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