September 17, 2014

Late September by James Owens

Early mist burns from the lake. The chipmunk
scitters along a lichen-spotted fallen locust,

from cool shade into sun, from sun
through bands of shade.

Small things, yes,
but there is no grief in them.

The pulse of the season finds itself in my body.
I am different

when a yellow leaf breaks from its twig
to glint down the air,

and different again
when a red leaf falls.

Two books of James Owens’s poems have been published: An Hour is the Doorway (Black Lawrence Press) and Frost Lights a Thin Flame (Mayapple Press). His poems, reviews, translations, and photographs have appeared widely in literary journals, including recent or upcoming publications in The Cortland Review, Poetry Ireland, The Stinging Fly, The Cresset, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. He has an MFA from the University of Alabama and lives in central Indiana and northern Ontario.


  1. This poem reminds me of how fortunate I am to live in an area which has a spectacular autumn.

  2. Wow...I really needed this poem. Thank you, James. :)