by Peter Ulisse

This poem was first conceived in trying to fend off the fast approaching darkness of winter – and all that symbolizes. But then, almost despairing, I looked to the top of the trees reaching for the sun and was awakened to the reality of light and hope.

It’s just a matter of perspective for us humans. We can transform through our inner vision. I was inspired to finish the poem on hearing about the theme of Copper Beech Institute’s “Connecting to Your Light” January 2016 retreat, a retreat I later attended.

I hope the light of my poem, illuminating the shift from autumn to winter, carries you in the present as we experience the transition of seasons again – from winter into the growing light of spring.


Mid Autumn sun
sinks deeper in
an afternoon

Grass last week
glowing in beams
now in shadow –
thick trunks of trees.

I move my chair
frantically to follow
and warmth –

mid yard,
end of yard till
I run out of

Almost despairing
the inevitability
of shrinking days
and frozen nights

I notice sky
still blue
and spot red
and yellow leaves

at top of trees
unaware of Time
and death
swaying with wind

reaching for

To awaken inspiration and light in your life this spring, we invite you to visit Copper Beech Institute. Click here for all the ways we can help illuminate your days.

Peter Ulisse is a recently retired English professor and Chair of Humanities at Housatonic Community College. Former president of the Connecticut Poetry Society with over 100 poems published nationally, Peter is currently teaching a mindfulness-based “Conscious Aging” course at the Trumbull Y. He does Tai Chi and has practiced meditation for 30 years. Peter is a guest blogger for Awaken Everyday, Copper Beech Institute’s mindfulness blog. Copper Beech Institute offers more than 40 retreats, courses, and events to foster peace and resilience in everyday life.

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