Starlings swoop across oatmeal skies.

Ravens caw into the gloom.

Robins shelter beneath sodden pines.

Tree sparrows skitter for seeds among fawn rushes.

Doves preen on plank fences.

Chocolate limbs articulate canopies of crimson maple leaves.

Squirrels abandon their nests hunched in treetop lookouts.

Leaves from plum trees hang like withered rags from seal-brown branches.

Masses of bronzed pin oak leaves hang on for winter’s ride.

Mahogany veins sketch yellowing quince leaves.

Velvety nubs tip branches of magnolia trees.

Two-toned acorns pebble the streets.

New fallen maple leaves imprint moist sidewalks.

Clown-winds cavort piles of cedar droppings along curbs.

Mulched tree bottoms fan in circles upon tawny grasses.

Husks of crepe myrtle blossoms ache for new color.

Snake-like vines entangle Missouri honeysuckle bushes.

Rain-washes impregnate limestone creek bottoms.

Puddles striate mud paths, splotched with leaves.

Shades of November browns murmur like a distracted lover.

Patient listening bears rich fruit.