The Call of Autumn Colors: Fall Foliage Photo Poetry

25 Oct The Call of Autumn Colors: Fall Foliage Photo Poetry

I am no slow walker

until I step upon the path of nature’s red carpet,

the wind kicking leaves along the roots of my feet,

grabbing me by the ankles.


Vermont's fall foliage in afternoon light by Sabine Bergmann

©Sabine Bergmann


And I am no poet

until the patchwork of bright golds and greens of the forest

lights up in the sun, and rains a confetti of leaves

in the crisp breeze.


Fall foliage, Montague Book Mill, Vermont by Sabine Bergmann

©Sabine Bergmann


So I grab my pen.

But after a few stanzas, I hear Her whispering to me

through the sound of the water

slipping over the river rocks:


Foliage reflections, Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, Vermont by Sabine Bergmann

©Sabine Bergmann


You must give me everything, She says.

All the energies of your youth,

all the wisdom of your age,

your so-called disposable income,

and your endless patience.


You must give me your fear of death,

and your love of life.


I need your eyes too, and your nose;

your fingers and toes;

your center of gravity; the nape of your neck.


Sabine Bergmann photographing landscapes from Prospect Rock, Vermont by Denise Filakosky

©Denise Filakosky


In return, you will receive:

the most stunning,

the most alarming,

the most freeing

landscapes of this earth.


I will send guides to unveil my jewels,

and your companions will run their fingers over the multi-colored surfaces,

just as you do.


New England Fall Foliage, Vermont by Sabine Bergmann

©Sabine Bergmann


 And I will pelt you with rain.

And I will fill you with exhaustion.

And I will suck out your sweat.


I will resurrect your childhood.


New England fall foliage, framed tree by Sabine Bergmann

©Sabine Bergmann


 You will feel the sting of tears as Awe

breaks into your chest, and clutches your heart

in her magnificent talons.


Frost covered maple leaf, Vermont, by Sabine Bergmann

©Sabine Bergmann


Together, we will stretch your fear

and your gratitude

until they threaten to break your mind,

your very identity.


We will continue to visit you,

grabbing at your ankles,

until you relinquish,

until you let go of your safe distance

from the miraculous world before you.

©Sabine Bergmann

# # #


Will you answer the call?

Will you walk through Vermont’s multi-colored, fern-laced hardwood forests with Backroads

or stand above Japan’s Takachiho Gorge in fall with legendary travel writer Don George?


The following two tabs change content below.
Sabine Bergmann
Sabine Bergmann is the Adventure Collection’s Managing Editor. As a professional writer, traveler and conservation activist, she writes for a dozen publications, including Wired, Sierra, Ethical Traveler and The Best Travel Writing series from Travelers' Tales. She’s done some pretty crazy stuff, like mountain biking from the Andes to the Amazon, spear fishing in shipwrecks and serving in the US Peace Corps. She's based in a little yellow house in Berkeley. Read more about Sabine at
Sabine Bergmann

Latest posts by Sabine Bergmann (see all)

No Comments

Post A Comment