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Monday, October 13, 2008

sumac




Days shorten.
Hours pour out of the cup of light.


Before snow-blue evenings,
before indoor candles remind me
I am born of old centuries


the sumac ignites flames
like pleas
to the abating Sun.


For just a few weeks
it rebels in one last effort
to warm the meadow.


Then it cools its fire
and yields.


25 comments:

shicat said...

ah...lovely.

Anet said...

I love this poem! "reminds me I am born of old centuries." Wonderful!
I think sumac is just beautiful. All around the Tollegate Wetlands, it's burning with sumac. It's so pretty! Oh enough blogging this morning, I have to leave for work now. Have a great day Ruth!

Loring Wirbel said...

Wonderful. The reds remind me that aspens may give Colorado some great golds, but we don't have some of the wonderful blazing reds of Michigan.

Ruth said...

Hi Cathy! Thanks.

Ruth said...

Anet, thanks, another gorgeous one for us. I'm playing hooky, took a 'wellness' day at home. I had never heard of the Tollgate Wetlands until you left your comment. Sounds like it was a good day to be out in Nature.

Oh the light is incredible today.

Ruth said...

Loring, I forget about other locales not having the reds. We may not have mountains, but our fall trees are devastatingly beautiful with the slanted light coming through as it is today. Are your golds gold now?

Bob Johnson said...

Beautiful prose and images Ruth, wellness day, cool, I'm going to run this by the boss,lol. We have Thanksgiving Day today so I'm off, but I have to go to a Tony Robbins seminar for work tomorrow, see if I can get a wellness day instead,lol.

Loring Wirbel said...

The scrub oak and willows at my altitude, down to about 6000 feet, are at their prime right now. But the best aspens are between 9000 and 12000 feet up. Usually they peak around Sept. 15, but they were later this year, around Sept. 25 or so. Right now, there's snow up at that altitude - and our high today is about 40.

Ruth said...

Bob, oh that's right! Happy Thanksgiving to you - and to all my Canadian friends! I hope you had a nice long weekend.

The secret to these little mini vacations is having a job that is so stressful that no one else wants it and everyone in the department feels sorry for you, so then when you take days like this people actually say - GOOD FOR HER - shaking their head in pity.

You have a job like that, don't you? I seem to recall that you were doing two people's work . . .

Ruth said...

Loring, I remember those first snows at 7000 when I lived in Oregon, so treacherous driving down into town. Be careful. But beautiful, especially if accompanied by fog (and more treacherous).

Our version of aspens - poplars (you told me once what the difference is) - are golden back by the pond now. And it's 80 today, for about the 3rd day in a row. We'll have 50s later in the week. At my photoblog I've been posting pics of frost on the zinnias from seed Don scattered in the meadow in May. We had frost last week, well, you saw it here on the pumpkin.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Your poem is so lovely ... delicate... an admittance to fall...

sumac when it leaves are gone is such an unassuming tree... but when in full leaf and with the staghorn berries/fruit, so special... it has so many transformations.. I love that tree..
we use to have a small grove of them at my last place and I always looked forward to their brilliance this time of year..... I planted 2 small sumacs last year.. they have adjusted to the transplanting and are in survival mode now... hope they flourish as well as the ones at my last place... time will tell..

also makes the most beautiful gray dye ever... did you tell me Leslie tried this too...

Ruth said...

Gwen, they really grow fast once they take hold. Ours have grown like crazy in 5 years, spreading too. They do something for me, I really connect to them. They're gorgeous along country roads too, but having them behind the house in the meadow makes me pause several times a day.

Oh, I didn't know about the dye, never saw that. No, Lesley used pokeberries we have, and it is very vivid magenta when it's done.

a said...

wellness days:) gotto love those! when I was a working girl (outside the home) I took a couple of those myself....(use to term them mental health days:) love the sumac against that blue!

Ruth said...

So, A, now you have nothing but welness/mental health days. How nice. :)

Ginnie said...

That's one of your best poems ever, Ruth, with accompanying images!

Ruth said...

Well thank you, Boots!

Gwen Buchanan said...

ahh. So Lesley used pokeberries.. I don't think we have them here... but that magenta would go great with the varying shades of gray from the sumac.. depends on the mordants used what shade is achieved.. I think I remember the aroma of the sumac berries cooking was rather citrusy...

Nautankey said...

Looks gorgeous...reminds me of those flowering plants in my college, not sure if they were sumacs..but had more red in them. They would be in full bloom during the monsoons..aah that is now.. wish I could go there..just a 2 miles away but then no time to stop and stare :)

Ruth said...

Oh Gwen, I knew you were talking about chemicals, but I had to look up 'mordant.' I love it when you talk about ancient crafts! You even know the vocabulary. :)

Ruth said...

Hi Nautankey! How sad! no time to go 2 miles, stop and stare? Ohh. It sounds as though they would give you such joy, it must be worth it. Well, I know what the reds do for me, and I'm lucky they're right here in my back yard, and on my daily drive.

I wonder if yours are sumac. Now I'm gonna go see what you've written . . .

Nautankey said...

Ruth,
Thanks to the heightened security concerns without an ID card we are not allowed into our college..so though i wont mind stopping n staring..its better to avoid the security guard's stares :)

My knowledge about plants and flowers is sad...wont be surprsied if there are no sumacs in india :). just the same kinda leaf pattern n color is what I could see :)

Sandy said...

Beautiful thoughts, so well written... and great photos.

Although, poison oak, sumac, etc., and I have a huge problem when we meet. One year I was in misery four separate times from the poison...

mystic rose said...

Oh Ruth, what a beautiful poem! delicate like the autumn sunlight.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Mystic Rose.

Ruth said...

Auntie Sandy, thank you so much. I wonder if there are different types of sumac? I don't know if this is poison, but I don't think so! But that's terrible how you react to the poison stuff.