Fall Song



This season we subscribed to a Community-supported Agriculture (CSA) share from Dension Farm: fresh fruit, vegetables, and eggs everywhere. It’s been awesome.

Every week the farm sends out a newsletter about what to expect that week in our share, news about the farm, and recipes. This week the newsletter included a poem by Mary Oliver, “Fall Song”:

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this Now, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in the black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries—roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time’s measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay— how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

I haven’t read much poetry since I was in college. Just by coincidence I discovered Mary Oliver’s work a few months ago, after seeing an article in The Guardian that linked to her obituary. “What blazes the trail is not necessarily pretty.”