Looking Up

Contrast Enhances Color
(NYC 11 2020)

I looked down for inspiration in October. I looked up and found it, again, in November.

The fall season progresses, and as the tree’s leaves thin out, the colors of those that remain on the branches appear even more vivid due to the open space, the contrasting blue, or white, or gray sky above.

Years ago, as a new Romantic poet in his senior year at university, I was first struck by this perceived increased intensity of the foliage as the season aged. I had a daily walk up a hilly avenue lined by mature trees to reach my morning classes, and on one sunny day I looked up, and a poem appeared fully formed:

My Perfect Autumn Day

Blue and gold days

Have come to call.

Gilded trees, warm,

And clear, cool air;

I stare, this morning,

At a mighty mosaic.

We call this fall,

My perfect autumn day;

I say, each leaf is a coin,

Pure gold for my pocket.

If this season were a vault,

I would lock it,

And save them forever.

The poem retains the memory, the treasure, of that day. The same can be done with words now, added and aided by the convenience of the smartphone camera.

Looking up, one can see the gold of the birch, gingko, locust, and Norway maple against a bluebird sky. The white cloud of a rainy day allows the same yellows to glow in place of the sun.

“Still” – Abstract Expressionism
(NYC 11 30 2020)

The blue above also enhances the reds of the oak, and the full spectrum of the sweetgum, known also as liquidamber, and the savory tans of the London plane tree, whose overhead spread can resemble a cathdral when planted in rows . . .

Plane Tree Cathedral Vault
(NYC 11 200)

. . . . Which reminds me of a stanza from another poem composed on another autumn walk:

The tall plane trees sigh.

A broken spot of blue

In the gray and white sky

Grows as it goes by.

The fall is a wonderful time to spend time outside. Inspiration can be found, or recalled. The truth of a little poem, written so long ago, may very well be that each and every one is a perfect autumn day.

— rPs 11 30 2020

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