Japanese Maple

Lemony Maple

Japanese Maple
Clive James

Your death, near now, is of an easy sort.

So slow a fading out brings no real pain.

Breath growing short

Is just uncomfortable.

You feel the drain

Of energy, but thought and sight remain:

Enhanced, in fact.

When did you ever see

So much sweet beauty as when fine rain falls

On that small tree

And saturates your brick back garden walls,

So many Amber Rooms and mirror halls?

Ever more lavish as the dusk descends

This glistening illuminates the air.

It never ends.

Whenever the rain comes it will be there,

Beyond my time, but now I take my share.

My daughter’s choice, the maple tree is new.

Come autumn and its leaves will turn to flame.

What I must do

Is live to see that.

That will end the game

For me, though life continues all the same:

Filling the double doors to bathe my eyes,

A final flood of colors will live on

As my mind dies,

Burned by my vision of a world that shone

So brightly at the last, and then was gone.

(New Yorker Magazine, September 15, 2014)


Photograph and poem sent to me by a dear friend, Lemony.

Photograph credit:Β  Lemony Gregg

35 Comments on “Japanese Maple

    • Yes, they are fantastic colors. I loved the shape of the Japanese Maple too. And the poem. Lemony is such a talented photographer! Thanks, Cardinal.


    • Yes, the colors are fantastic. I don’t see such color now that I live in Texas. I grew up near the NC mountains and took the color for granted. Lemony lives in PA. They have the same fall colors. She is a fantastic photographer. Thank you for stopping by! πŸ™‚


  1. It is the wonder of the internet age of social media, when we are supposedly detached from one another, that we can come together to share in your living moments.

    Time and space bends slow –
    Electron days spin out, wires
    Leaves memories now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is a wonderful thing, Joseph. I am happy that I lived to see it. My mother often said she’d like to come back in a hundred years to see the technological advances. She died at almost 95. She was always fascinated by the advances in connectivity that she’d witnessed. I agree. Perhaps, she and I will revisit this planet together. Now, that would be a fun trip! I would like to know her in my next life. Chuckle…

      The poem is wonderful, Joseph. “Electron days spin out…”

      Thank you, Joseph!


    • Blue Girl, I got things to do and places to go. I don’t have time to be sick. Anyway, I don’t know how to be either old or sick. Chuckle… I feel fine. There isn’t anything brave about me. I’m a total chicken. I’m just not sick. Really, I’m not. You guys here offer as much support as anybody could ever ask for, you know. And I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know. I have kids next door, a fine friend for a doctor, and all kinds of folks who care. I am the most fortunate of old women that I know! I’m busy adding to my zoo and Jeremy, my son-in-law just keeps on building cages and helping me. I know he must think I’m nuts. But, he never says so. Such a sweet guy. I love my home, my animals, my family and my life. I am happy, Blue Girl. Hospice has given up on my dying thing. We laugh about it. They said they might have to “fudge a little” at review time to keep me. They are wonderful girls. I enjoy them too! I can’t wait to get Hugo, my new chameleon. I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas! πŸ™‚ Thank you for following along with me! πŸ™‚


    • Thank you, Linda. Lemony is a fantastic photographer. With such an incredible “eye”. I loved the poem, too. Lemony is such a fine and gentle person. I am doing fine, Linda. No real symptoms of illness yet. That, in itself, is incredible! I guess I’m too busy to be sick! Chuckle… Anyway, illness is boring! I have things to do and a short time to get them done! πŸ˜‰


    • I thought it was beautiful, too, Richard. Lemony often sends the color versions of her monochrome posts since she knows I love color! I loved the poem, too. Ah, Lemony is such a thoughtful and kind person.


  2. Very moving George, what a lovely sentiment from your friend. My friend, Lou, passed from this world five years ago but I remember her every year in flowers. She loved just sitting in the garden enjoying the sunnier days of an English summer! Her favourites were lilies, roses and gerberas πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we accumulate a store of memories of our friends and the people we love throughout our lives. Generally, it’s the little things that we recall with such pleasure and enjoy even more after they leave us. We see through each others eyes, I think, and their appreciation of things enriches our own. I loved the Japanese Maple image and the poem. Lemony is such a kind and gently person and a talented and sensitive photographer. Thanks, Sarah. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a beautifully composed and processed photo πŸ™‚ Yes, Lou is never far from my heart, she lives on in my memories and all the little things that I associate with her. She had a unique and infectious laugh that rings in my mind when I think of her πŸ™‚ I feel so fortunate to have had Lou in my life, she enriched it so much. I hope that I will leave such a legacy!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice George. Quite nice. I read this while Joanna is away. She’s driving a young friend of ours to and from a medical appointment at a center some distance from us. She (the friend) is experiencing a ‘high risk’ pregnancy and requires fairly close monitoring. Joanna has been very good and has volunteered as a driver on several occasions. I’m am glad that she can help but sad too that she is not home. It is cold here and I had to jump-start both woodstoves to warm the place up this afternoon after getting back from work. There is an incessant drip-drip-drip of the water from outside, it’s kind of raining, sleeting, icing, snowing, but turns. Temperatures are really predicted to drop over night. The song birds are glad for the seeds we put out. And, then, this poem and image from you. Hrmph. I remember the imgae from Lemony … she posted it as a black and white and I commented that it looked to me like the sort of image one gets back from the doc when they do an angiogram! The color, however, gives the who thing another sort of look. When combined with your words it makes me miss Joanna’s company even more. She left this morning and will be back at dinner. Still … it seems like a long time. Parts of the poem you offer may be read as sad … but others are not so. ” … a flood of colors will live on … burned by my vision.” I believe I can read something positive in that … I hope you can too. D

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lemony sent the poem along with the image. She often sends the color version of the monochrome ones that she posts on her blog since she knows I enjoy them. She is such a kind and thoughtful person. The change in the weather really got to you on that day! It makes taking care of the animals difficult, I know. But, spring will come again. There will be new life to enjoy. New lambs. The cycle goes on. We come, we live, and we leave. That’s perfectly natural and ordinary. There is nothing sad about the poem for me. I love it. I will carry that image in my head until the end. The golden blaze of the last leaves… That’s how life should end. πŸ™‚ We miss those we love when we return to an empty house, huh? Mine is filled with animals and generally with Charlie! Chuckle… Life is good, Dave. πŸ™‚


    • Ah, Adrian, you are such a tender-hearted old codger! Chuckle… The stages of life are all beautiful. So is the end of life. I will carry the image of that blazing gold tree with me. Lemony is such a wonderful photographer and person. Thank you, Adrian. So are you.


    • I agree, Lorna. It’s not a mainstream idea, but I share it with you. There must be others of us hanging around somewhere! Chuckle… I am coming back near you so that I can laugh often and well. And keep a balanced view of myself and the world. Thank you, Lorna.


    • Ah, the colors of that maple are wonderful. Lemony is such a great photographer. And such a really good and sensitive person. She often send me the color version of the photos that she posts on her blog. And I usually think they’re far better than the monochrome. Chuckle… Of course, I would, you know! πŸ™‚ Hope you got your UPS package! πŸ™‚


    • Yes, it is. The poem and the photo. Lemony is such a sensitive photographer. Her work astounds me. Often, she sends the color version of a photo that she posts in monochrome on her blog since she knows I love color. She is such a thoughtful person. Thanks, Naomi.



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