November 15, 2019

Article at HeartCenteredMaria Blog

First Fall 🔊

I knew each of them so well,
And loved them all,
Thousands of them shifting with each waning
Of the longest day into the sleepy arms of Samhain,
Slowly twirling, each day, each one of them turning
Orange, yellow, burnt sienna and umber,
Dancing with smoke stirring upward from lonely chimneys
I can see now
Through the tangle of naked branches.
Endless walks to nowhere, a sweet unknowning
As the sun tucks its flames behind the hills of Vestal
And brushes clouds with hues of pumpkin and apple skins.
All of life
Readying for the cold marrow of winter
Where I place my trust as treasure to be rediscovered.
Rounding the meadow
I smell them before I see them,
Discover thick leaves climbing a fence
Hiding the juicy pleasures of Concord grapes.
Of course I pluck, eat, delight,
Let them burst purple glory in my mouth, 
And swallow earth unto me.
I have nothing, yet have it all, 
Becoming evergreen
In the liminal hours of midlife,
Here, under a sky swaying violet in the moonless night.
And I wonder, later, as I wash my hands of stains in the sink,
Well water running ever so cold,
If this girl from the tropics would have known her seasons
In the equator of sameness.

-- Vestal, New York, 2017

In 2019, I co-produced "Autumn Embers," a multidisciplinary concert featuring overtone singers from Harmonic Introductions and D.C. poet Reuben Jackson.

Maria De Los Angeles reads her poem "First Fall" as Mary and Robb Saffell overtone sing in recession. Upon closure of the poem, a final reflective sound meditation emerges from the narthex as they are joined by Rusty Allen and Edwina Chen.