Mr. October

Here comes Mr. October—
He’s the coolest month around.
Watch him strut his autumn airs
While his fan club gathers round.

The leaves sigh as he approaches;
They clap as he breezes by.
Some blush a brilliant shade of red
When he looks them in the eye.

See, as he swaggers onward,
How the leaves fall down in awe?
They’re swept up in admiration
Of the cool month they just saw.

Happy fall to those in the northern hemisphere and a happy day to all! Peace to your !

Pageant Tree

In springtime when your buds first show,
Delightfully I watch them grow,
So fresh and new after winter’s gray
I want to laugh and sing and play.

Yes, in springtime I am young and gay.

In summer when your boughs are full,
Your beauty’s irresistible.
I gaze upon your crown of green,
The loveliest I’ve ever seen.

Yes, in summer I am like a queen.

In autumn when your branches gold,
What stunning pageantry I behold
As the leaves that cluster at your breast
Scatter like jewels east and west.

Yes, in autumn I am richly dressed.

In winter when your limbs are bare,
With childlike wonder I stop and stare,
Entranced by your graceful whitened frame,
No two branches ever the same.

Yes, in winter I am quite the dame.

Years ago, after reading Myra Cohn Livingston’s book Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry, in which she describes five different types of poems, I wrote one of each kind using a tree-theme. I’ve previously posted “Truncated” (dramatic apostrophe) and “Possibility” (lyrical). “Pageant Tree” is a dramatic conversation. I’ll post the remaining two in the next two weeks. Peace to your !


Driving home I spotted a tree–tall, shapely, with a circle of red leaves on the ground beneath it–that put me in mind of this poem. Peace to your !


You say you want to leave?
Don’t be naïve.
You’re safer here, believe me.

Still you want to leave?
What would that achieve?
It would only grieve me.

Must you, must you leave?
Not one more reprieve?
Oh stay! Do not bereave me!

And she wept
As they kept
Falling all around her.

A crimson flood,
Like drops of blood
They now surround her.

© Stephanie Malley

“Call Me Deciduous”

Where I lived as a child, the backyard was full of tall trees. Come fall, I loved to rake their fallen leaves into the outline of a house and play inside the “rooms” with my best friend. Since we left the bagging up for my parents, it was truly all play and no work.

I actually enjoy raking leaves the old-fashioned way, though I might not feel the same if we had more than the one medium-sized tree in our yard. It happens to abut our neighbors’ yard, so I have to make sure I get out there with my rake before our good neighbor gets out there with his leaf blower. :) Peace to your ♥ !

 Call Me Deciduous

Call me deciduous.
I can live without leaves.

I do not regret lost leaves.
I do not need an umbrella
in a snow shower.

Rake it or leave it.
Just don’t let it drift into my yard.

I envy those who own no rake,
who never have to sweep up
memories of green days.

If there were no leaves,
would leave-taking
lose its meaning?

© Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 6 - Write a poem that looks at the same thing
from various points of view.


When I’m outdoors in the autumn and hear geese honking, I immediately look upwards for their telltale V-formation. Those Vs aren’t really all that precise, but still, there’s a harmony there that is often lacking in my own life. Watching them wing their way south is restful for me even if it isn’t for the geese! Peace to your ♥ !


All fall
I’m mesmerized
by compact skeins of geese
stitching the sky together, a pattern
so simple and direct, unerring,
I can’t duplicate it here
below, where all the
loose ends un-

© Stephanie Malley

Published in the 2017 issue of The Loyalhanna Review.


Clouds streak across the sky,
Pursued by geese, speeding toward

We’re also speeding toward Halloween, and the neighborhood is getting decked out with skeletons and scarecrows and, of course, pumpkins. The header photo shows our porch with some of the 32 Long Island Cheese pumpkins we harvested this year. We’ve been tossing old pumpkins over the side for a good while, but this is our first experience with this particular kind of pumpkin. The vine completely took over the bushes in front of the porch. Peace to your ♥ !