Changing into Fall


American Wild Plum. Sweet flesh and sour skins.

Let me tell you something,
It’s this coolness of the last nights of August.
Amidst late hopeful cricket calls
Stars perfecting their brilliant glow,
We used to listen to the celestial music,
Dangling feet off the metal bars
at the edge of cement town. Recap summer and plan
one last camp out, and a bicycle trip, and a swim…
Whisper of those who had a new boyfriend and a new piercing
And those who scored both, and were fearless at spin the bottle.
I would tell you all my secret dreams
And hide my shameful feet cracked from work in the mud fields.
There was always something to be hidden,
In that game of perfection, as we searched out
without a known direction like a vine
randomly twisting to the direction of the sun,
girls talking of forbidden fruit, and boys of the low hanging one…
There was still excitement of the class getting back together
New faces, familiar faces, and endless possibilities
Where each adventure was to outlive eternity.

Now it is the transformation that captivates us.
The fall shedding of the leaves, the seeing what was there
all along hidden under the brush
revealed only in the cool clarity to come.
The bare nests exposed, glued then broken
or broken then glued, or abandoned, but still,
holding their beauty and mystery.
Now there is knowing that vines which had spread out of control
Will still fertilize, and the plucking
of melons and cucumbers, and squash comes easy,
For it is all about life giving now,
This transformation that mashes us
Mashes us up together, more alike than different.
Pumpkin into a pumpkin bread,
apples into an apple sauce,
plums into plum jam,
and peaches into a cobbler,
and then some more mashed potatoes.
Now with the fall cool we embrace joy of ripeness
and fullness, voluptuous women and plump baby arms, satisfaction
as the grinding of the daily grind just the same
Laying on the fresh stacked hay with an understanding smile at
those young impatient wilted ephemeral spring dreams
Colorful, short lived, and forever in memories
Now we stuff ourselves with some hearty goodness.



About BeeHappee

Where have all the bees gone? Where have all the flowers gone?
This entry was posted in Nature, Poetry and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Changing into Fall

  1. bobraxton says:

    those “wild” plums we used to get by walking (perhaps a good part of one mile) in and part way through our maternal grandfather’s wooded “farm” to where there is said to have been, at one time, a house – we called the Sam Stone place. Delicious and quite sour (skins) those red fruits.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Nice. In our foraging adventures, we found three trees of them so full of fruit it was beautiful. We ate and ate, and spit the skins out together with the pits, and I feel like going back with a bucket. I love sour apples and sour cherries and all things sour, and now have discovered sour plums, and cornelian cherries galore here, oh goodness. 🙂

  2. bobraxton says:

    I am son of “Cornelius” my father and did not know: Cornelian cherries are an ancient fruit that is delightfully floral in preserves and other sweet confections.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Temperatures dipped into 50s here. I know globally they recorded the hottest July on record, yet in Illinois we feel like we barely had any summer, May was cold, and August unusually cool, which is my kind of summer. This is the best time of year, we had been picking and eating so much goodness, I feel just grateful to be alive and enjoy the nature’s bounty. Have a wonderful rest of the summer, Mary!

  3. noblethemes says:

    Ah! So attractive and wonderfully inviting! It makes me excited AND hungry! LOL 🙂 Thank you, Bee!

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you, Jonathan. This slow turning from summer to fall makes me think and feel a lot about my life, turning from summer to fall (getting old, can you tell?), the changes, the enjoyment of different things in each season of the year and each season of life.

  4. shoreacres says:

    Oh, how I envy you. Our time will come. For now, it’s enough that the humidity has dropped a bit and it’s not like walking into a blast furnace in the morning.

    I’m not so fond of sour, although a good cherry pie always is welcome, and I do like lemon. We had crabapples when I was growing up. I always tried to eat them, but they were the very essence of sour, and not so good — in my opinion.

    I love the turning of the seasons. The very phrase reminds me of lines from Annie Dillard, in her book, “Holy The Firm”: “There are no events but thoughts, and the heart’s hard turning, the heart’s slow learning where to love and whom. The rest is merely gossip, and tales for other times.”

    • bobraxton says:

      while not exactly the seasons (as such), I really like the small (poem) book “…Tape at the Turn of the Year (1963)” by A.R. Ammons, who graduated from the same college (Wake Forest) a bit earlier than my 1966 graduation. It is an adding machine tape, entire poem / book written on Olivetti portable typewriter, limiting the length of each line and encouraging “line breaks”

    • BeeHappee says:

      Ah, no need to envy, we have the whole week of 90s coming up. . . Summer will still show her heat here, and I may still come for a visit to cool down at the docks. 🙂 But it does sound, Linda, like you stayed a Midwest girl at heart? Perhaps moving to a cooler climate is due. 🙂
      Thank you very much for the quote from Annie Dillard, beautiful passage, and I am so ready to look at her writing some more, her name come to me from various sources in the last couple weeks.

  5. Bee. No one mentioned your poem and how it works. So I will:

    1. notice the poem is in two parts
    2. notice how the two reflect each other
    3. notice how youth/sex (spring) is placed against maturity/fruit (fall)
    4. notice the little things: “girls talking of forbidden fruit, and boys of the low hanging one…”

    conclusion: bee always knows where she’s going

    • BeeHappee says:

      🙂 You got it. Nice Cliff Notes.
      I really appreciate that you read my rambles, and super much enjoy reading your thoughts. Thank you.

      One thing that amazes me about good poetry (which mine is definitely not, just having fun playing with ideas) is the ability of the writer to somehow express that unclear feeling or some deep feeling that everyone has but either do not bring it to surface, or try to hide, forget, shy away from it, etc. Or the ability to tell things that are just so impossible to tell.

      I read a couple days ago this poem, which I liked, although had never been in war and seen death like that, I could still feel that pain in my bones, while reading.

      Near Antietam
      By Norman Williams
      Shunning the British tourist bus, we walk,
      My child and I, the West Woods where, like dogs
      Who know their death is due, the wounded took
      Themselves to give up hope. The horror begs
      Imagining—the soldiers hauling limbs
      Hacked off or messmates dead, and everywhere,
      Mixed with the summer scent of swelling plums,
      A stench of putrid flesh and burning hair.
      Here Lee was turned. That night the forest filled
      With muttered names of loved ones left, and cries
      From mangled soldiers pleading to be killed.
      Seeing my distant look, my daughter tries
      My sleeve: “What is it, what?” she asks, and I
      Say “nothing, nothing”—though “nothing” is a lie.

      • Olive says:

        Ooooooh. I was about to comment on the reflexivity of your post, and how I feel like I too am moving (faster than anticipated!) into my autumn years……and then this piece, depressing, but beautiful as well. I can relate to not wanting to spoil innocence ( and what can be kept from pain and grief away from younger generations). Y’know what is weird? Sometimes, sharing to horror of war and humanity at its worst, sometimes it acts as a deterrent. Sadly, people who have never seen horror and misery on such a scale seem more eager to rush headlong into avoidable conflict. So I am into seeking the positive, yet wonder if there is some value to the remembering, and pain?
        Either way, thanks for inspiring and treating our brains to such words.

        • BeeHappee says:

          Thank you, Olive. Enjoy your autumn years filled with goodness. 🙂
          In your part of the world, many of the young had lost their innocence too young. It is a tricky balance as you say, who is more prone to escalate to violence, those who had grown up with it, or those who had never seen any pain?

  6. smcasson says:

    I’ve read this post numerous times now. You have such a way with words, each time I re-read, I catch more little details that expand into multiple meanings. It’s great! 🙂
    My favorite lines:
    Now it is the transformation that captivates us.
    The fall shedding of the leaves, the seeing what was there
    all along hidden under the brush
    revealed only in the cool clarity to come.

    • smcasson says:

      Talking of plums, a co-worker has a wild, roadside plum tree, apparently a huge one, and earlier this summer he brought in a bucket full of them. I really enjoyed the sweet/tart mix of the flesh and skin. We made some baby food out of some of it too, and baby girl loved it too….

      • BeeHappee says:

        Thanks, Scott! Wow, you did not let those plums go to waste. 🙂 Your baby girl must be coming close to her 1st b-day, I’ll be checking your FB pics for the b-day fun.
        We are swimming in tomatoes, trying to figure out how else to eat them. Have a great weekend!!

  7. blazeburgess says:

    The whole transformation idea is really great.

    Also I remember being self-conscious when I was young of my rough hands, which I got from working at marinas. There really was always something to be hidden.

    • BeeHappee says:

      Thank you. The transformation idea somehow got stuck with me after reading Bill Plotkin’s “Nature and the Human Soul” but of course it is nothing new, I think what dawned on me is the lack of appreciation of each season (life season), and the gems that each season brings, we have in our western society.
      Teenage years, when it seems your whole self should be hidden, and of course the interest in the opposite sex rises, is like a cruel joke from the Creator.

      • bobraxton says:

        Inspired by Car Talk (radio) where one brother says, stay tuned we’ll be right back with the third half of the (Car Talk) program, when it came time for spouse’s retirement I began a new Journal and named it “Third Life.” More recently, we were going to enhance our back deck (which I had built two or three decades ago) – the ideas had a progression: screened porch, “sunroom” but three-season; insulated space (3-season still) and with split-mini cooling and heating option (and ceiling fan) which became our “four-season.” We named “the Gathering Place” – a sort of retreat space. And now at age 71 my naming thoughts turn to “Season Four” a possible blog name for spouse to use, should she choose. Season Four.

      • blazeburgess says:

        Too true. For all the trials and pains of each life season there’s the growth and experience, even joy, we gain by it.

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