Raking the Shaggin’ Leaves

Doesn’t seem that long ago the tree was strong and leaves were green.
But with each day,  more bare spots appeared where leaves were once to be seen.
Now in these short November days they’ve gone from green, to rust, to brown.
Fallen leaves like memories of summer passed are scattered all around.

For all my life, my true calendar has been built around the new school year.
But I’m not too stunned to see the irony growing from the sight of trees so bare.
I start anew with September’s promise, plans for the next year all arrayed.
So just how can one feel a sense of life renewed as the summer’s colours fade?

I’ll readily admit I’ve never been concerned about being all that conformist.
Friends, in fact, often ask me why I so often come at things arse-foremost.
Frankly it doesn’t bother me and, to act in my own defense,
point out I’m Irish, and as such, used to a life where not everything makes sense.

The cool wind whips the leaves along as through the mess I traipse
admiring what I see all around, the myriad of shapes.
Some perfect, pressed just right, others less than that may be.
Still others torn and battered, ugly as sin and sorry sights to see.


Can’t help but to compare each leaf to memories of the year gone by,
realizing each can be associated with times of sorrow, stress and, yes, even joy.
I stop my raking, lean on ‘er like a highway worker on this day so calm and placid
thankful the kids are nowhere near, lest they think I’d be dropping acid

Last year was often a time of joy, I saw new things, made new friends.
Managed to screw a few things up, but for some, then made amends.
Said goodbye to some who were dear to me, some of them forever.
Experienced success and failures too in my sometimes ill-advised endeavours.

At length I find myself back in the yard, rake in hand, out of my inner space
Less grumpy over the leaves, even the ones that blew in from my neighbour’s place.
And left thinking if these represent the memories, just lying chaotically arrayed
then why the hell am I bagging them up to molder and decay?

After all, confined that way they’ll not transform nor to the ground and air rejoin.
Perhaps a compost heap is just the thing, besides, it’ll save little coin.
And so, too with those memories, I should ruminate less, and, instead
just let them transform and integrate naturally with what’s already in my head.


About Maurice A. Barry

Coordinator: Teaching and Learning Commons, Faculty of Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Parent & Husband. eLearning consultant/coordinator. Program Development Specialist - eLearning (Department of Education; Retired). Writer: over 40 Math/Physics texts/webs. Developer & Manager of web content. Geek. Not into awards but loves comments.
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4 Responses to Raking the Shaggin’ Leaves

  1. Mary says:

    East coast fall / leaves – always more colourful than west. A lot less dramatic out here –
    There are some nice chestnut trees though on my street

  2. jennypellett says:

    I’ve been doing the self same thing, Maurice. Nice to see you back posting.

    • Thanks–been working post-retirement and have been encountering so very much I could write on. The problem is its just too close to hand and I’d need to wait a bit before putting any of it here. But that will happen in time I suppose 🙂

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