November magic

For a brief moment, sunrise alights the buildings – fire against purple clouds.

Then all is grey again; muted November.


I am walking through a steady rain, the steely evening lit by the glowing reds and golds of fall’s colour display.

I feel the magic of this life, a quickening of the heart, an uplifting.

I pass under a bridge’s pale, soaring arches and its lights turn on, one at a time, matching me step-for-step:


In the midst of a life messy with family and work and responsibility, this moment feels like the perfected scene of a movie.


I don’t want it to stop. I feel I could walk for hours. And so I do.

Dreaming, I let fall all expectation, all requirement, all responsibility.

Dreaming, I walk in a twilight that hangs between day and night,


I make turns without thinking, following curiosity, letting whim form my path.

Until, rousing myself, I find myself facing my front door.

Time’s Dark Dance

Lights blink on and off

in windows about the town

eyes turned inward upon

lives unknown

secrets held fast

whispered in darkness

only black.

Outside, the leaves twirl

in a somber dance

stirred up by wind devils

and forces unseen.

The town, once green,

now muted

holds its breath

and waits

for the cycle to be complete.


Companionship, Copyright Silverleaf 2014

Companionship, Copyright Silverleaf 2014

Earlier this fall,
on an unusually summery day,
I watched an elderly couple
as they sat contentedly together
on striped beach chairs
in the middle of the neighbourhood park.
They were catching the disappearing rays
of a sun that had slipped,
like them,
past its prime.

Throughout the summer
they had been a fixture there,
in the same Gilligan-style hats
and brightly coloured speedos,
scented with coconut oil,
jazz playing on their aged stereo
and a picnic basket between them,
each reading an old, slim, yellowed paperback book.

They are charming, unassuming characters,
exchanging the odd thought or impression,
happy to chat to passers-by,
occasionally feeding the squirrels
and not bothered when dog noses
dip into their picnic.
With such an easy companionship
and friendly manner,
one imagines they have been together forever.

It has been a month now.
The brilliance of the turning leaves on that day
has faded,
and with it the early autumn warmth.
Rainy days pile upon rainy days,
the sky perpetually dressed
in a shroud of shifting greys.

I wonder what those two are doing
and where they are now,
where do they go
on winter’s cold, early evenings?
I imagine them lounging by a fire,
surrounded by music
and a collection of well-read classics.

Or perhaps they follow their old friend the sun
as it slips down south,
perhaps right now
they are sitting side-by-side
on their striped beach chairs
in the same Gilligan-style hats
and brightly coloured speedos,
scented with coconut oil,
jazz playing on their aged stereo
and a picnic basket between them,
each reading an old, slim, yellowed paperback book.


Study of an Autumn Day

Copyright Silverleaf 2014

Copyright Silverleaf 2014

The early fall sun warms everything in its golden glow,
the sky – an already impossible blue –
is rendered bluer still,
deeper clearer,
than at any other time of year;
its blueness is pervasive,
a limitless ceiling arcing over the city and the day,
filling my eyes and deepening my breath,
and against it,
the leaves in their firery glory
are vivid,
every tiny detail magnified to perfection
so that veins and vessels are visible from a distance.
The damp leaves already on the ground
release their earthy fragrance
into the warm air,
perfuming the moment.
The last of the flowers – gold and purple and white –
bloom still,
will bloom hardily until the snow falls,
grasping tightly at a season already past.

Those flowers,
they remind me of something;
a memory I can’t quite uncover.
It tastes of other late summers
near fields and lakes and trees,
of home, a home I used to know,
and family together.
I can almost hear my mother’s voice
calling through gardens,
floating down the decades,
till it reaches me here,
on this fall day,
bringing with it those feelings
of long ago,
and gathering up all the other autumns
we have passed along the way.
This day,
this feeling,
becomes part of the legacy
so that I will smell and taste it, too,
for years to come.