Autumn Syllabus

Ninety-one days, a whirlwind schedule
that contends with waning light. No such thing
as week-ends off or holidays.  This is life.

The hours are the same,
it is the clocks
that change and the trees.

In these weeks before the celebrations,

reds and golds replace the fading greens.
So much to learn, so little time. ‘Arrivals and Departures’,
a summer class,  is replaced

by ‘Conflicts and Desires’.  Not everybody
likes this schedule but Christmas is coming. Until then
even Louis Vuitton is unimportant.

Pencil in the midterms, those little tests
that tell us where we’re at, not where we’ve been
nor where we’re going.

Autumn is like that, an interim.


  1. Hi Sarah

    Loved the way your describe the syllabus of the season! Indeed Autumn is “an interim”, a time between seasons, in a way. We take a pause, look around and assess what we have harvested and what we have left to fade in the past. The entire poem is so clever and relatable but you make it relatable in such a wonderfully unique way.

    So much to learn, so little time. Arrivals and departures,
    a summer class, is replaced

    by conflicts and desires

    Autumn passes much too quickly but it is also a season of contrasts as you describe in the above lines, it
    has flame and it has skeletal shadow when the leaves fall. There are conflicts with both climate and personal experience/situations as well as desires that invigorate and burn with the woodsmoke. I loved this and thank you ,Dear friend, for posting it!

    Take care


  2. You, dear Sarah,

    have cleverly designed this poem to appeal to any reader. It’s relate-able to all who know the brevity of a syllabus, yet, realize there’s much work to get through “the course”. It’s fun to hang out in this poem. It feels like college days in the fall when we’d shuffle those feet on sidewalks & kick a few leaves along the way. Often those feet were traveling to places of study, quite often areas to prepare for the next test boldfaced on the syllabus. I loved reading this fine creation. Enjoyed.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very much enjoyed the way
    the images take this reader through the changes…
    the inevitable changes that are a part of life.

    Much affection,


  4. Sarah, you masterfully weave a connecting thread between the seasons of climate and the seasons of our lives… all passing phases. Greatly enjoyed this in our now dry ‘rainy’ season.

    Best regards,


    Liked by 1 person

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