Little Circle of the Forest Floor: October

Near Shotpouch Creek, Central Coast Range, Oregon

A reviving carpet of moist moss
points its gametophytes up to the deluge
to savor the end of summer drought.

Perched on the moss, a big-leaf maple’s leaf gleams
golden, wet, polka-dotted brown, each
age spot spread to concentric circles

like seasons of growth engraved
on a scute of a turtle’s carapace.
Incipient dots, caught too in time’s vise,

consider a similar future. A sister leaf, palest-moon
yellow, bright against the growth below, has turned
turtle in its dropping yet bears the blighted circles.

In time, like an alder leaf fallen, dark
and rotting below the others, these leaves
will turn to the colors and contents of soil:

fodder for the forest.

By Rosemary Lombard

Red maples leaves on green moss

Rosemary Lombard, university music lit teacher, naturalist, prize-winning writer, andethologist/herpetologist/“turtle tutor,” explores the potential of turtle minds in her independent cognition laboratory. Her Turtles All the Way: Poems (Finishing Line Press) is forthcoming in 2016; her creative nonfiction book, Diode’s Experiment: A Box Turtle Investigates the Human World, is in progress. Verseweavers, Blue Print Review, Work Literary Magazine, Bay Nature, and other journals and anthologies have published her literary work. Click HERE to visit Rosemary’s website: Chelonian Connection

Photo by Ryan Pike

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