Pause For Poetry: Michael Hawkes /57

When Leaves Are Words

A poem by Michael Hawkes

September 28,  2023

Then trees stand wordless in the winter
And only catch their breaths in spring,
Then sing aloud all summer long
Until the autumn’s final fling,
Henceforth to stand there mute again.

Now, if all the books unbind themselves;
Their spines become unsewn, unglued,
And pages, leaf-like, then are strewed
As randomly as forest leaves;
Then, some cohere convincingly
Into a text for man to read
While wandering in the wilderness;
Would such a script be disbelieved,
So well composed,
So redolent of kindliness?

Can words withstand the weight of woe?
Or do as leaves do under snow,
Compact, compress and decompose
Enriching currents there below,
The force, the power from which life grows?

28/10/22 – Hawkes

Feature image: December Leaves, by Joe DonohueBouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre –

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Michael Hawkes -

Michael Hawkes is a survivor of all the world’s wars. He learned (and loved to rhyme) by torturing the hymns he had to sing at school. A retired West Coast fisherman living in Montreal since 2013, he is an unschooled Grandpa Moses writing an average of five poems every week.

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