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Fall Leaves in a Creek

by Lionel E. Deimel



Maple leaf

Leaves ride smooth water

To fate on stony rapids—

Trapped, passed, cast aside.

Maple leaf


In mid-October, I watched leaves drift along a creek as I waited for a light rail train. The surface of the creek was very smooth, except where rapids resulted from rocks in mid-stream. On these rocks, leaves were sometimes trapped. Some leaves, however, continued past the rapids and down the creek. Still other leaves were shunted by the rapids to the left or right shore. A few days later, I began to think of composing a poem based on my observations. I wrote down words and phrases, like “leaves drift down creek,” “colors,” “smooth water,” and “rocks.” Then I wrote lines, such as "leaves drift on smooth water." At some point, I thought of writing a haiku, but there seemed to be potential for a longer poem as well. In the end, I wrote two poems, the haiku above and another poem, “Autumn Reverie,” which, being longer, can say a bit more. Actually, I considered writing as many poems as I could, varying meter and rhyme, but the two I did write were quite hard enough. Anyway, both poems were finished 10/22/2003.

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