The sky in Ohio is full of colorful leaves right now. When I was a kid it was still legal to burn them, and the smell of burning leaves mingled with the aroma of pumpkin pie in the oven and the anticipation of Halloween around the corner made fall a happy season.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
That’s by Robert Louis Stevenson. I just love him. He had something good to say about everything and wrote in exclamation marks. I thought of his poem “The Swing” first when I saw Illustration Friday’s word of the week is “Sky”…
How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!
I repeat that poem in my head every time I see a swing. If you have a child in your life, get A Child’s Garden of Verses. It will get them through every season, happy experience, and inspire their creativity. Or, to heck with the kids. Get that book for yourself or read it online here.
I realize poetry isn’t that fashionable any more, but sometimes it says things that can’t be said any other way. RLS’s poems have meant a great deal to me, but sometimes I write things of my own…
A cyclone of words swirl over me
Their colors spun into a circling web
Words unspoken, unwritten, unexpressed
The energy of their feelings, of my feelings
Spin in an endlessly spiraling vortex.
I keep a file of poetry beginnings, and the above is something I wrote so long ago that I don’t remember what inspired it. I’m much better at poetry beginnings than writing finished poems to tell the truth, but maybe it doesn’t matter? It doesn't even matter if it's good. It’s the art of expression, in whatever medium we choose to express ourselves. Today I’m thinking of autumn, and this poem seems to be a verbal illustration of falling leaves in the sky.