Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Of Autumn and Life

During our short trip up Island, we visited the Little Qualicum River Fish Hatchery. It's salmon spawning season in the rivers around here. The photo shows a beautiful scene, quiet water with overhanging branches and picturesque gulls.

What the photo doesn't highlight, but that you can pick out if you look on the left side of the river, against the bank, just under the water, are the hundreds and thousands of dead salmon. They lie there, stacked up in some places three and four deep, lifeless, gray. The stench of death was in the air. Along the bank, picked-over skeletons bear mute evidence to bears, eagles and other predators, including the gulls.

The bright gold coins of autumn are nearly spent
Profligate, they lie sodden,

Leanness settles deep upon the land
Bare limbs reveal austere architecture

Yet, as leaves sink into earth
Hope glimmers in the promise of spring.

The start of this poem came to me as we were driving. The first line was so clear, I wonder if it is from something I read somewhere else. If so, and if you know of the source, please let me know. If not, I guess I'm smarter than I think, because I like the imagery. 

Had any poetic thoughts lately? Care to share? 



  1. Such beautiful shots Lorrie. It's a shame those beautiful fish die after their amazing journey. As to poetic thoughts, I've had so many this week from our remembrance Sunday right through to an incredibly busy day at the Cathedral but it's all jumbled up and needs unraveling! I'll see what I can do before my next post. Have a wonderful week. xx

  2. The imagery is great. Autumn truly is waning...

  3. The poem is lovely! Would never guess from that peaceful river scene that it was where the salmon came to die.

  4. I didn't know that salmon die after their long swim upstream to spawn. I suppose I learned it in school at one time but have since forgotten. The photo of the leaf in the water is beautiful. I don't recall a poem with those words but did you try to google it? You might find something or you might find out that you are the poet. :)

  5. It sounds like your time there brought forth some creativity! Lovely poem.

  6. Beautiful words in poetic form! It's a mystery .. this death that sinks into the earth to burst forth with new life come spring.

  7. Your poem reflects the season and the feelings so many of us share. Here our world is white and frosty. I must say my thoughts are far from poetic. But here the season of Craft Fairs has begun and inspiration comes as one wanders amongst tables of creative people who put the long nights to good use and are spending time making wonderful things to sell and share with others. Hope Springs Etearnal!

  8. A lovely reflective post -- and poem. . .

  9. love your poetry here.
    so often driving in the car is when inspiration hits
    and I can't write it down. Sometimes sitting in
    church (when I should be listening) poetry will hit too.
    Maybe it is those still quiet moments, which I need to
    allow more often.

  10. Lovely pictures and lovely poem. They go so well together.


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