Today I stopped on the way up our steep hill,

I should say I was stopped,

stopped in my tracks by the golden

leaves of a lone tree

shinning against the Paynes gray sky.


I set my brake hard, got out

to admire the view

to capture the sight with my phone.

As if awe could ever be held

to a single place

in a single moment.


The air sharp with a message of Fall,

birds singing near-by,

a 50 mile view across the bay

snapped into place

in the center of my soul.


For many years I have stalked this tree

From season to season,

the bare skeleton of Winter,

through the tender lacy dress of Spring,

and the full open fan of Summer,

but Fall is when it captures me.


Why was it this day I was stopped

arrested, held prison

in the unknown country of Magic

and Disbelief that I could

create this picture to keep for myself.


I must have looked quite mad

in my reverie, because a passerby stopped

and ask if every thing was all right.

“Please don’t release me from this moment just yet”

I silently prayed

“Everything is just fine.

You may join me if you like.” I spoke out loud.

She set her parking brake hard and got out,

then began to weep. She spoke only these words,

“I lost someone dear to one year ago today. This

is the first time I have been able to see color in all that time.”

She got back in her car released her brake

and continued up the hill.


Leaving me alone to wonder

how I can keep the light in my life

no matter what?  Or did I just meet

my  own tender, wounded, imprisoned self

beneath the Ginkgo Tree?
10-9-12 Carol Carlisle ©

8 thoughts

  1. I don’t think I have ever seen a Gingko tree Carol, until now anyway. Really beautiful as is the scenery behind it. Your poem gives us all something to think about. Will we all continue to “see color”, no matter what.
    There are certain trees I watch here in Oklahoma every fall. Even some in Missouri when we have been going to Branson in the fall. They are just so beautiful. My, what God has given us to see!! I just love the fall.



  2. Beautiful poem, Carol, and a powerful message. I love gingko leaves, such a beautiful shape. They are used quite often as a decorative element in Arts and Crafts textiles and wallpapers. I have a set of ginkgo leaf earrings – the next time I wear them, I will think of your poem and perhaps invite someone to join me to appreciate something beautiful.


  3. An invitation to beauty is what you do with your blog each time you post it I do believe. I have the ginkgo pen to go with your earrings. I like the idea of them being an invitation to beauty. Ps. I thought of you today when I tried to record a Murder of Crows in my neighbor’s tree.


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