I wrote this poem last October, my first fall in Oregon. Vermont has beautiful autumns, pastoral and graceful with brilliant displays of red and orange. Here fall is gold set against dark evergreen. The constant rain makes the wilderness glisten. The poem was inspired by the 10-mile drive from town to my home along Highway 47. Don’t be fooled by the “highway”. In this neck of the woods a highway is a single lane winding road. My highway meanders along the Nehalem River in the Coastal Range of Northwest Oregon and it’s one of many roads here that takes my breath away.
OctoberIf I drive off the road Know that I was distracted by the wilderness Gazing for a moment at gilded leaves Arched against jagged evergreen Vine maple blazing in random rays of sun The woods wet, black branches of the forest bending Silhouetted by canopies of countless green Perhaps I beheld a quilted river of fallen crimson and vermillion Winding along the roadside Or I gazed into the weave and texture of leaves Layers interlaced, sharp and dense, against the sky I glimpse fields of weed, browning blade and drying seed Blending into a tapestry of quiet color before me If I soar off the road of my life And fail to rise Know that my eyes brimmed with beauty.