The  poet Maren Tirabassi reflects on the life of Christ, depicting autumn leaves showing their beauty, their brilliance, and their fragility–and then falling. Observe her weaving the seasonal into the scriptural, spanning His birth and, eventually, His crucifixion.

On Reading the Gospel of John in the Autumn. . .

In the beginning are the leaves,
and the leaves are fragile and beautiful,
and the leaves are on the tree.
The beauty and the fragility is life –
scarlet and golden,
and apples are with the leaves
and harvest and hope.

And there are saints to remember
and all souls – saintly and not so saintly,
and candles in pumpkins
lit for all their spirits.
And there are children begging
from door to door
with sheets on their heads.
Children are not the Word,
but we hear it from their lips.

And we come to Thanksgiving
but we cannot fully understand it –
not gratitude,
not living water, bread of life, vine,
not foot washing, many rooms,
not even needing to let go.

The leaves fall from the tree
and we do not look up
into dark branches silhouetting truth
against October and November sunset.
But we be-leaved in our stubborn
raking up, lonely way
that something will be born –
not of blood nor of human will,
nor even of much-advertised,
the Advent season,
but of God.

And the Word becomes flesh,
full of grace, fragile
and beautiful and hanging on a tree.


Maren C. Tirabassi, poet



Fall foliage in Florida . . . and in Pennsylvania

Fall foliage in Florida, visible in winter, December or January


Autumn in Pennsylvania


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Do you have a favorite season?

Another poetry title (or quotation) to contribute?



Next week: Coming down the Pipeline, My New Book