The Sunday Poem: Stewart S. Warren... Flutter of Communication

Leaves are about to fall. This is a poem you really need to read before they do...because, as he says, "Leaves are the words of trees / whose chosen work is remembering."

Stewart S. Warren, writer and performance poet, was born 1950 into the affluent southern society of Tulsa, Oklahoma where, Stewart says, he was raised by slaves and all night gas station attendants. After completing 9th grade he hitch hiked out of the grasslands to find his teachers in the counter-culture of San Francisco and worlds beyond. He is the author of five volumes of poetry plus a host of other works. All his book royalties go to WaterAid America.


Flutter of Communication

Falling leaves are for those
who listen.

One announces itself on the sill,
another scuttles across your table.

Be careful, they say. Don’t give up
the good stuff: the doing for others,

the shyness that quietly questions opinion,
the compassion of a stomach

allowed to be empty,
the wisdom of feeding your foe.

Don’t lose yourself in things, they say,
no matter how holographic.

A flurry of clicking leaves
swirls against the building, teases

the cuffs of your pant legs.
Bow to stars and bugs;

Hold your child’s hand;
Smile on both ends of the day.

Leaves are the words of trees
whose chosen work is remembering.

They are tears let go in the wind,
the worker bees of our becoming.

Listen—a leaf
has fallen in your open cup.


—Stewart S. Warren, 2010


ABQ Poets Against War Reading
Stewart S. Warren will join Demetria Martinez and Elaine Schwartz next Sunday, October 24th, at the Harwood Cafeteria, 7th & Mountain NW, 3:00, 3 Bucks. Also invited: Levi Romero, Cathy Arellano, Tony Mares, Maria Leyba, Jessica Lopez, Gary Brower, Merimee Moffitt, Mary Oishi, Margaret Randall, Larry Goodell, and Richard Vargas.


Mark it down. See you there.

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Tags: poetry, warren

Comment by Ben Moffett on October 17, 2010 at 11:21am
Great. I love the comparision of ephemeral leaves as the words of trees that last for centuries. Way better than Kilmer's poem. Right up there with O Henry's short story, "The Last Leaf."
t
Comment by Dee Cohen on October 17, 2010 at 1:42pm
Very nicely done.
A lovely poem for the new season.
I like the use of couplets. Gives one time to absorb the lines.
Smiling on both ends of the poem....
Dee
Comment by Margaret Randall on October 17, 2010 at 8:56pm
I am briefly in Montevideo, Uruguay, but of course the first thing I did this morning was go on line to read the Sunday poem. This is one that moves me deeply, maybe because the news of a tragedy in the family of close friends came at the same time. In this context it comforts me to think of "tears let go in the wind." Most of all, I love thinking of the leaves of trees as "words whose chosen work is remembering." That line will stay with me for a very long time. Thank you.

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