Meditation on Falling Leaves

And they fall slowly, spinning lost
in their own rhythms, no two alike.
Wild gyrations of mismatched
tempos. Do they dance
because they dread the touch of wet

Backs arched and arms
outstretched, stage cold under
kinetic feet; do their toes cramp
as they grip the wood so they can’t fly

They spin out
of control, yet their descent is
impossibly slow. Whirling side to
side but always

Frantic movement instead of crushing thought:
What happens when the music

Swimming through thick air
soaked with music, lungs and heart
burning, straining for the surface –


A diver drowning in the Olympic pool: powerful
leap, three heartbeats of motion and then the water. Cold,
blue, refreshing — the disease forgotten
in the ecstasy of flight returns to life:


Oh God
which way is up?

They touch cool grass or scorching asphalt
– all the same. The journey
ends. Gone,
the blueness of the sky, the light
soft touch of wind.
The music’s
over; the silent weight
of water presses down.

And they die softly,
a fluttering sigh as they settle.

Are they not beautiful?