Friday, November 12, 2021

a no/de to autumn

Greetings, Poetry Friday friends and strangers--all are welcome to partake of the weekly party!  

It has been 6 days since the clocks fell back and, as every year, I feel like they all fell on me. I can still ride my bike* to school leaving at 7:30, but I have to scoot outta there by 4:15 to get home comfortably before it gets too gloamy, and today is the first day I have not awakened substantially before my alarm at 5am.  I have some hope that I will stay awake tonight past 8pm!

I am a Summer in every way, shape and form.  I'm like those trees that have strategies to protect their seeds through fire regimes, which you can read about here:  I REQUIRE the blazing heat and sun of summer to make it through the winter, when I go dormant.  There have been years (notably the one we spent in France) where I didn't get enough summer, which made the winter very bleak indeed.  And, as I type this, I am looking directly into the light of a full-spectrum lamp.

So here's a no/de to autumn, inspired by the ode which the Seven Poetry Sisters are working on for later in November.  I'll try, really I will, but I dunno--some days the gorgeous leaves just feel like an insultingly meager compensation for the loss of a loved one. In fact, this poem comes from a series I wrote back in 2017-18 called The Art of Losing. My form is an invented one that maybe I'll call the diminuendo.


Thanks to Matt at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme for rounding us up this week with a wash of ocean poems from FRIENDS AND ANEMONES.  I hope y'all who love fall are getting a good dose of what you need--sweaters? pumpkin spice? candles?--and I'll see you around the Kidlitosphere.


 (the song is better than the videography)

 *Until next week, when I'll review the news from COP26 for Climate Poetry Friday, here's my wonder of an electric (battery-assist) bike I call HummingBee, which allows my middle-aged bod to delight in cycling to school 2-4 days a week as though I were 11 again.  Please ask me if you have questions about e-bikes!

Here is HummingBee all kitted out for the summer bike adventure. We travel much lighter on the way to school!


  1. Love your n/ode, Heidi! I'm a summer kinda guy, myself...and these cool, shorter days are just not for me, so I know how you feel/

  2. Your diminuendo is perfect in both form and function, and when I got to the meager 9 hours that are "greying at the roots" I nearly snorted my tea.

    Just this morning as I walked (thanks to yesterday's wind, almost all the leaves are down now) I was paralleling age and season and feeling glum about having arrived at my own personal autumn. It's too early to drink, but I'll take your advice later. When it gets dark.

  3. Love that n/ode and the one delight of "paid/in moon-coin", Heidi. I wrote a bit of a connection to your thoughts today, too, and DST. Change is so often hard!

  4. Great poem, made me laugh and think. I'm much older than you and all I can say is I wish you well. It doesn't get easier. But... I can still tip one with you tonight.

  5. Neat! Hummingbird is quite a bike! How heavy is it all kitted out?
    And, your many truths tucked into your diminuendo. My favorite has to be, "paid in moon-coin." And, the ending made me kinda laugh/snort. Well done.

    1. It weighs about 48 pounds, of which 12.5 is battery and motor--so heavy! It's possible to ride it with no battery assist at all, but that's a bit of a slog, so I keep it in "Eco" mode (lowest) most of the time. With that level of assist, it feels pretty effortless until you get to a hill. With loaded panniers I guess I was driving about another 20-30? Still a breeze but I spent a lot more time in the mid level assist, "Normal".

  6. You clever diminuendo makes those who love the fall, including myself, a touch ridiculous. I do miss those fifteen hour days, dancing on the beach and sipping cool drinks. I'd go somewhere warm today, if I could!

  7. I'm with Mary Lee on loving "graying at the roots." I think "diminuendo" is the perfect name for this form. And no matter how many hours of sunlight there are, your incandescence shines bright, Heidi!

  8. This diminuendo is great. I love all the seasons. The spring ahead in March is what gets me. I don't mind the fall back.

  9. Heidi, thanks for sharing this diminuendo. Fun form! (Do you have "rules" for the diminuendo?) "Minifying day to a mere nine" and "greying at the roots" is perfect. I have dreams of getting an electric bike when I move back home, retiring and living on a dirt road at the top of a gentle sloping hill. Do you have any suggestions to convince me?


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