Autumn Whispers

By Stephen Hollins

against the royal blue canvas of the sky
crisp autumn air rumbas with scarlet and amber
an ancient oak tree stands in a vast field
leaves blush colors of autumn
sun kneels on the edge of the sky
dark clouds eclipse its golden rays
casting an eerie shadow over the landscape

beneath its mighty boughs
the field runs out to kiss the horizon
patchworks of emerald and gold
land hushes as if the world has held its breath

chill winds pick up, leaves shiver
distant murmurs become rhythmic whistling
responding to the tree’s silent call
tundra swans draw near an undulating wave
wings slicing through the air like knives

birds materialize from the edge of the world
white feathers catch the last glimmers of sunlight
they dip and soar in unison, guided by an invisible hand
painting the air with synchronized ballet

the tree reaches out, gnarled branches
cradle the flock like a mother does her child
they nestle in the fiery foliage
light filters through dark clouds
suspending the birds in a misty dream

In the stillness, a hum unites tree and avian visitors
their presence a pilgrimage, a cycle of life
an unspoken bond between all living things

twilight deepens, the flock takes flight once more
wings stretch towards the heavens,
spiral silhouetted upwards
against the royal blue canvas of the sky

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