Posted by: Peadar Ban | December 18, 2010

Advent II

The second poem in the Advent series from a few years ago:


The young maple, the neighbors’ tree, young too,
Lost all its leaves last night. This morning
Red leaves lay everywhere randomly strewn
Across the space between both our homes.

It is no battlefield, they no fallen
Heroes of a fight lying where they fell
Helplessly, once bright, become carrion
And less. Nor will song their tale sweetly tell.

No storm came through last night, no wind nor rain.
Stars and moon alight all was clear and calm.
Despite, though, leaves and tree a parting made.
They left and softly fell and laid them down.

They know a parting comes, the leaf, the tree.
They must obey their nature and they do.
Parting allows winter the birth of spring
So tree and leaf part. Can I so? Can you?

Is there that we own or need or dream
Which keeps us from this death, and birth, and growth
So we reject what can be for what seems
Preferring bright illusions, habit’s sloth?

Two days, that’s all, and leaves will brown
Moved aside for life planned though not yet.
A thousand million leaves have fallen down.
Each leaf’s lesson: what loses always gets.

November 1, 2005


  1. Loss and mortality are a big deal for humans, eh? As you say, it would be better for us to quit trying to pretend that either of these are avoidable, and instead be who we are. Nice write. 🙂

    • Hello Thea,

      I take your point,. However, I hold with the point that Hopkins made, the one about us being “immortal diamonds”…wrapped in mortality…

      Thank you for your kind compliment.



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