Autumn Colors 15 SEP: On the Tragic Fall of Maurice the Yellow

 

On the Tragic Fall of Maurice the Yellow

I’m up a tree, it seems to me.
My name’s Maurice, and life is hard.
There’s no way to fall gracefully.

In the Spring I was fancy free,
before I saw what’s in the cards.
I’m up a tree, it seems to me.

The Summer sun warmed and lulled me,
as my fate I did disregard.
There’s no way to fall gracefully.

But Autumn has come upon me;
I look down to imagine shards.
I’m up a tree, it seems to me.

Yellow with fear, I won’t let it be!
How was my life so evil-starred?
There’s no way to fall gracefully.

To have lived a life so shortly
to be thrust upon the pile of discard,
I’m up a tree, it seems to me.
There’s no way to fall gracefully.


This poem is part of a series of five, called Leaf Droppings. They take the form of villanelles. I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to make a few autumn verses of your own below.

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There are 39 comments.

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  1. Gary McVey Contributor

    The streets are grey, the air is brown

    The traffic passes, grim and fleet

    That’s just the way it is downtown. 

    This post-er’s name has wide renown

    Inventiveness that guides his feet

    For making Father Time a clown

    • #1
    • September 17, 2019, at 6:29 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. Judge Mental Member

    Some people call me Maurice.

    • #2
    • September 17, 2019, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  3. Gary McVey Contributor

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Some people call me Maurice.

    I bet no one ever gets away with it twice. 

    • #3
    • September 17, 2019, at 6:34 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. RightAngles Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Some people call me Maurice.

    Cause I speak of the pompitous of love

    • #4
    • September 17, 2019, at 6:45 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. RightAngles Member

    That’s a nice poem, Arahant. I’d never heard of villanelles.

    • #5
    • September 17, 2019, at 6:46 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Judge Mental Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Some people call me Maurice.

    I bet no one ever gets away with it twice.

    Sure don’t want to hurt no one.

    • #6
    • September 17, 2019, at 6:54 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. RightAngles Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Some people call me Maurice.

    I bet no one ever gets away with it twice.

    Sure don’t want to hurt no one.

    I’m a picker
    I’m a grinner

    • #7
    • September 17, 2019, at 6:57 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  8. Arahant Member
    Arahant Post author

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    That’s a nice poem, Arahant. I’d never heard of villanelles.

    Thank you. How about this rather famous one:

    https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

    • #8
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:03 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. RightAngles Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    That’s a nice poem, Arahant. I’d never heard of villanelles.

    Thank you. How about this rather famous one:

    https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

    I didn’t even know that was a villanelle!

    • #9
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:04 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Judge Mental Member

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    That’s a nice poem, Arahant. I’d never heard of villanelles.

    Thank you. How about this rather famous one:

    https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

    I didn’t even know that was a villanelle!

    Not really surprising, given that you’ve never heard of villanelles.

    • #10
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:05 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant Post author

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I didn’t even know that was a villanelle!

    Now you know, and can impress your friends and family, if the subject ever comes up. And if you follow the link in the original post above, you can even find out what makes it a villanelle.

    • #11
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. RightAngles Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    That’s a nice poem, Arahant. I’d never heard of villanelles.

    Thank you. How about this rather famous one:

    https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

    I didn’t even know that was a villanelle!

    Not really surprising, given that you’ve never heard of villanelles.

    I knew someone would say that, and I knew it would be you.

    • #12
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:15 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Percival Thatcher

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    That’s a nice poem, Arahant. I’d never heard of villanelles.

    Thank you. How about this rather famous one:

    https://poets.org/poem/do-not-go-gentle-good-night

    I didn’t even know that was a villanelle!

    Not really surprising, given that you’ve never heard of villanelles.

    I knew someone would say that, and I knew it would be you.

    He’s predictable like that.

    • #13
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:19 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Judge Mental Member

    People keep talking ’bout me.

    • #14
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:21 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  15. RightAngles Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    People keep talking ’bout me.

    They say I’m doin’ you wrong

    • #15
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:25 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Percival Thatcher

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    People keep talking ’bout me.

    But you don’t hear a word they’re sayin’.
    Only the echoes of your mind.

    • #16
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:30 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. Gary McVey Contributor

    Percival (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    People keep talking ’bout me.

    But you don’t hear a word they’re sayin’.
    Only the echoes of your mind.

    We had Jon Voight at one of our social events. The room was noisy, so he apologetically retreated to a corner to answer a cell phone call, one hand closing the other ear. We noted, “Everybody’s talking at him. But he can’t hear a word they’re saying. Only the echoes of his mind…”

    • #17
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:32 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  18. Percival Thatcher

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    People keep talking ’bout me.

    But you don’t hear a word they’re sayin’.
    Only the echoes of your mind.

    We had Jon Voight at one of our social events. The room was noisy, so he apologetically retreated to a corner to answer a cell phone call, one hand closing the other ear. We noted, “Everybody’s talking at him. But he can’t hear a word they’re saying. Only the echoes of his mind…”

    Fred Neil wrote and recorded that. Harry Nilsson covered it. It went nowhere special. Then it got picked up for Midnight Cowboy and became a classic. Nilsson became a star. Fred Neil released two more albums, bailed on his music career, and took his pot of royalty money and lit out for Cocoanut Grove, where the sun keeps shinin’, through the pouring rain.

    • #18
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:47 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  19. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    I’m loving the interplay of discussion of poetry theory and the Steve Miller Band in the comments!

    This tragic autobiography of a leaf is part of our Group Writing Series under the September 2019 Group Writing Theme: “Autumn Colors.” There are plenty of dates available. Our schedule and sign-up sheet awaits.

    Interested in Group Writing topics that came before? See the handy compendium of monthly themes. Check out links in the Group Writing Group. You can also join the group to get a notification when a new monthly theme is posted.

    For those not in the know:

    • #19
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:56 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  20. Arahant Member
    Arahant Post author

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    I’m loving the interplay of discussion of poetry theory and the Steve Miller Band in the comments!

    It’s more than just the Steve Miller band. And it could get worse yet. (Or better, depending on what you like.) But, hey, you don’t need no credit card to ride this train.

    • #20
    • September 17, 2019, at 7:58 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Arahant (View Comment):
    It’s more than just the Steve Miller band. And it could get worse yet. (Or better, depending on what you like.) But, hey, you don’t need no credit card to ride this train.

    I’m hip.

    I’d not read into Dylan Thomas’s story arc before.

    In January 1950, at the age of thirty-five, Thomas visited America for the first time. His reading tours of the United States, which did much to popularize the poetry reading as a new medium for the art, are famous and notorious. Thomas was the archetypal Romantic poet of the popular American imagination—he was flamboyantly theatrical, a heavy drinker, engaged in roaring disputes in public, and read his work aloud with tremendous depth of feeling and a singing Welsh lilt.

    Thomas toured America four times, with his last public engagement taking place at the City College of New York. A few days later, he collapsed in the Chelsea Hotel after a long drinking bout at the White Horse Tavern. On November 9, 1953, he died at St. Vincent’s Hospital in New York City at the age of thirty-nine. He had become a legendary figure, both for his work and the boisterousness of his life. He was buried in Laugharne, and almost thirty years later, a plaque to Dylan was unveiled in Poet’s Corner, Westminster Abbey.

    Reads like Hank Williams, Sr.

    HANK WILLIAMS, SR. TIMELINE: 1923 – 1953

    Sept. 17, 1923 — Hank Williams is born in Mount Olive, Ala.

    1938 — Hank forms the first of his Drifting Cowboys bands

    […]

    1951 — Hank’s drinking problem, marital issues and spinal pain begin to worsen

    […]

    Jan. 1, 1953 — Hank is pronounced dead in Oak Hill, W. Va.

    • #21
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:04 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. KentForrester Coolidge

    A talking leaf by the name of Maurice! What’s next? A talking tree by. The name of Groot?

    Your poem reminded me, of course, of the greatest Villanelle of all time, Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle.”

    i’ve never met a student of poetic forms before. They might put this on your tombstone some day: He was a lover of women and poetic forms

    Way to go, Arahant. 

    • #22
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:10 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. RightAngles Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    A talking leaf by the name of Maurice! What’s next? A talking tree by. The name of Groot?

    Your poem reminded me, of course, of the greatest Villanelle of all time, Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle.”

    i’ve never met a student of poetic forms before. They might put this on your tombstone some day: He was a lover of women and poetic forms

    Way to go, Arahant.

    I forget who it was, but there was one famous person whose tombstone said “I TOLD you I was sick”

    • #23
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  24. Arahant Member
    Arahant Post author

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):
    Reads like Hank Williams.

    Hank Williams was a very interesting character. The Luke the Drifter work is a very different facet.

    • #24
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:14 PM PDT
    • Like
  25. Arahant Member
    Arahant Post author

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    A talking leaf by the name of Maurice! What’s next?

    No, other talking leaves and maybe a talking and very self-satisfied pine needle.

    • #25
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  26. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    A talking leaf by the name of Maurice! What’s next? A talking tree by. The name of Groot?

    Your poem reminded me, of course, of the greatest Villanelle of all time, Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle.”

    i’ve never met a student of poetic forms before. They might put this on your tombstone some day: He was a lover of women and poetic forms

    Way to go, Arahant.

    I forget who it was, but there was one famous person whose tombstone said “I TOLD you I was sick”

    I think it was a person who became famous because of her epitaph.

    • #26
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:25 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  27. Arahant Member
    Arahant Post author

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I forget who it was, but there was one famous person whose tombstone said “I TOLD you I was sick”

    There are many of them.

    • #27
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:26 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Gary McVey Contributor

    • #28
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:31 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  29. Arahant Member
    Arahant Post author

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I also like Merv Griffin’s.

    • #29
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  30. RightAngles Member

    Erma Bombeck’s: “Big deal. I’m used to dust.”

    • #30
    • September 17, 2019, at 8:37 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
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