When Autumn Came

A painting and a poem for the autumn equinox.

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:

it stripped them down to the skin,

left their ebony bodies naked.

It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,

scattered them over the ground.

Anyone could trample them out of shape

undisturbed by a single moan of protest.

The birds that herald dreams

were exiled from their song,

each voice torn out of its throat.

They dropped into the dust

even before the hunter strung his bow.

Oh, God of May have mercy.

Bless these withered bodies

with the passion of your resurrection;

make their dead veins flow with blood again.

Give some tree the gift of green again.

Let one bird sing.

—Faiz Ahmed Faiz 1911-1984

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