Poetry in Autumn

There’s something wonderful about encountering poetry where you least expect it.  When I first moved to Seattle on October 31st, 1998, I rode the Metro transit bus every morning and evening to work.  I’ll never forget the poetry series they hosted, which ran from 1992 to 2007.   Being new to the city and to Washington state, I didn’t know a single person, but I remember finding comfort in the poems that lined the bus walls during my commute. This one, in particular, has stayed with me over the years:


A mute explosion in the night
Has set the harvest woods alight.
Summer expires, autumn spills
Molten copper down the hills.— by Virginia Kammeyer.  

Having grown up in deserts and tropical climates, I had never actually seen a true Fall season before.  I was unsure about Seattle and unsure whether or not I would stay, but I think this poem helped me see the beauty surrounding me and it changed my whole perspective. Now I look forward to the turning of the leaves, the crisp snap in the air, and all the warmth of the upcoming holiday season.

How about you?  What is your favorite time of year?  Have you ever encountered a poem or read something so simple and profound that it changed your whole outlook?

About Tara Sheets

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7 Responses to Poetry in Autumn

  1. Beautiful poem, Tara, and I love your concept that beauty changes us and even makes us stay planted where we’ve arrived. It’s all too easy to uproot and shift to another spot sometimes.

  2. Cyndi Faria says:

    Tara, That picture is breathtaking. And I love the poem. Fall is my favorite season, cooler weather, pumpkin treats and decorations, the liquid ambers raining color, sunday dinners and soup and family around the fire just around the corner! Thank you for sharing. Cyndi Faria

  3. A.L. says:

    I love that poem, it makes me think of the melting pot. I love “summer” because I like wearing bright colors and neon nails.

  4. John Kammmeyer says:

    Virginia Kammeyer was my mother, she died about the time the poem was published. It’s funny that there isn’t a lot to say about her, she was cute and endearing, but not outwardly wild or colorful. She was this little white-haired gnome hunched over her work processer, turning out all these marvelous poems and stories. The worlds inside her head were far more colorful than the world outside it. She had 28 poems published in magazines of the Mormon Church, and won the all-Church poetry contest–twice, and the all-Church short story contest, once. She was one of those people who would have a hard choice if they had to pick between “writing” and “breathing.” Her poems have been compiled, as well as four short novels she was finishing up when she died.

    “When we have drawn our last, frail, shattered breath
    do you think that we shall see, as we push through the creaking gate of death,
    that parlor lights shine through the afterglow?
    And will we hear the voice of the Shepherd coming home,
    and a sweet voice calling from the door?”

    John Kammeyer

    • Tara Sheets says:

      Hi John,
      Thank you so much for this wonderful information on your mother. She was an amazing writer, and her poems resonate so much with me, as I’m sure they do with many other people. I am so grateful that you stopped by, and gave me some insight into what type of person your mother was. I truly believe she touched many lives with her beautiful poems, even though she was quiet on the outside. I love what you said about her having a hard choice between writing and breathing. She was an amazingly talented person!
      With heartfelt thanks,
      Tara 🙂

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