Under the Sassafras tree shade, I stand


Its handy leaves wave to me in the breeze


Reddish bark with furrowed trunk


I touch its rough tough bark


As I watch an ant crawl in a crevice


I see this scene and I ponder


When yellow leaf falls upon my head


I reach and touch its smooth thin plane


Before returning it to its journey


Then another leaf makes a drop


Missing me this time by just a hair


What chances we take- one and all!

我們抓住的機會 – 不論是一次或全部!

Before the next leaf makes its fall



Paul M. Beck

September 2015

Chinese Translation by Tiffany Liao,  July 2016

Passing By


I watched it fly to and fro

A butterfly or moth?

Which one I do not know


Like a flake of summer snow

With zig-zag indecision

As it sought a place to go


I looked as it hovered about

Quiet as a field mouse

Over cone flowers sun devout


And in a moment did alight

Upon rough purple bristly tops

To feast upon its sweet delights


An oasis to quench its needs

Before launching airborne again

To seek another place to feed 


Far flew our little white wing

Summer visits too brief

For one left to wistful thinking


Paul Michael Beck 




The path was well worn with passing feet
From people who found time to explore
I followed it far and what a treat
My travel proved a most happy chore

Looking down at the valley below
Green and devoid of the people kind
Far from anyone that I might know
I found a well-worn trail to unwind

A Black-capped Chickadee heard my steps
Flew in tree with a “Chick-a Dee Dee”
Soulful song within my mind I kept
As I watched it move closer to me

From twigged perch it made a short flight
To a bench wedded with unkempt ground
Showing off feathers of black and white
It perched a moment and looked around

Then scurried off in flittering flight
Leaving rooted bench alone once more
To wait for another to alight
And sit down upon its well-worn core

How lonely this bench appeared to be
By itself in this faraway place
Arms held forward, it beckoned to me…
“Come join me and rest upon my space”

This invitation made a good fit
I leaned over and dropped my backside
Pleased to find this quiet place to sit
A most peaceful place to think and bide

Out of the woods flopped right beside me
Brave friend Chickadee with more to say
Until something made her lift and flee
For some unknown reason, far away

At this moment, bench and I were one
As we looked out at the meadow field
Shared in kind the same rays of the sun
And felt the breezes that wind did yield

No conversation came between us
We just knew each other’s needs
And without causing a rumpus
I left lonely bench to mind the weeds

Leaf romp



The wind tosses the branches


Leaves cut loose spiraling down


Red, yellow orange and brown

紅, 黃, 橘, 和褐色


To the ground of grass and mud


Splattered about in rainbow collage


Into their final resting lodge



Where they stay for time intact


A carpet of wonder and glory


Piled marvel of nature’s story



On their layered remains, I shuffle


Leaving crunching sounds, a wake


With every rustled step I take



If only you could hear me pass!


What fun to romp this leafy sea


Why not come along with me?



Paul Beck, November 2015

Chinese Translation: Tiffany Liao





Je l'observais aller et venir

Papiillon ou mite?

Lequel je ne sais


Comme un flocon de neige d'été

Zigzaguant indécis

Comme s'il cherchait où aller


Je le regardais planer

Tranquille comme une souris des champs

Au-dessus de fleurs en cône priant le soleil


Et en un instant se poser

Sur les rêches sommets pourpres et velus

Pour en fêter les délices


Une oasis pour assouvir ses besoins

Avant de relancer son aéroportage

Pour chercher un autre endroit où se repaître


Loin elle s'envola notre ailette blanche

Visite estivale trop brève

Pour un qu'elle laisse à ses mornes pensées


Michel Pujol



An acorn fell on woodland floor
A miracle from autumn’s store

On a warm spring day, the shell broke
Where inside a sprout awoke

It lifted up its fragile body
Chose the sun as its new hobby

Searching roots crawled to fertile ground
Taping water from soil found

Limbs arched like suspension bridges
Developed bark wrapped trunk with ridges

In passing time it climbed quite high
Until it ruled the forest sky

Grandest prize of wood oaks found
A sturdy home to thrive moist sound

To it the animals soon sought
A fortress place to build their cots

Like birds who formed a comfy nest
And Squirrels who found their food and rest

Ants climbed high to reach its leaves
The spiders built a web to please

Everything here seemed just so swell
But danger in the woodland dwelled

A thunderstorm brewed from the west
Lightening split apart oak tree crest

Weakening its strength by many degrees
As it succumbed to a disease

Years later, another storm passed
In what would prove to be its last

With snapping crash the oak did break
Giving the earth a barking quake


Leader of the oaks crushed to rot
In this the bottom woodland plot

Sorrowed ending for our grand friend
But its spirit would never end

Just a stump of a greater plan
Left there for us to understand

West wind had tossed its acorns far
And our grand oak passed on its star



Cinq de fleur

Hidden within a grassy swell

One tiny flower casts a spell

Its blossom in light yellow splendor

Sturdy and at the same time tender

With all five petals stem held bound

Into a golden dressing gown

Paul Michael Beck, 



Cinq de fleur


Cachée dans un renflement herbeux

Une fleur minuscule jette son sortilège

Son inflorescence en une légère splendeur jaune

Vigoureuse et tendre tout à la fois

Avec tous ses cinq pétales la tige d’un bond

Vêt sa robe de chambre d’or


Michel Pujol


This one little bird sends songs up high


To each passing note as it wanders by


Sweet soothing sound that breaks winter’s fast


To the quiet one who sings at last


To those who pass and do not hear


You miss the best of springtime cheer


Bright red bird you treat us so well


Your voice strikes like a dinner bell

“Birdie, Birdie,” you seem to say to me


My ears follow your pitch from tree to tree


So when you stop singing and fly away


I am left in the  silence of dismay


Paul Beck, April 2015


The fallen leaf is but reborn
A gayer freer thing.
Without stem anchor it courts the wind
And flies with it
No longer coy and Branch-bound.

Its green dress gone it wears a rainbow,
A wingless bird of paradise.
In its new life it speaks
With gustful rustle.

At last it joins the restless myriads
On the ground.
They chorus an invitation
To heavy feet and troubled mind
Come walk ankle-deep and forget the years.
Come walk in leaves and find youth's dream.


Nature walk


The forest lives!

To those who walk

Its meandering trails

Smell its seasoned wood

Touch its many parts

Watch its growing buds

Hear its sweet sounds

Capture it in memory

And live it all again


Paul Beck, February 2017


From the top of a crab apple tree

A House Wren chattered incessantly

He had spotted me passing close by

To this territory that he plied

Up and down the branches he scurried

All the while singing his song of worry

I watched his performance much amused

Enjoying the antics of this muse

Until I spotted the source of his woe

For he thought me a dangerous foe

Across the field in a blue bird house,

Emerged the brown feathers of his spouse

She quickly flew to join her dear peer

Warbling her own warning to my ear

How cheerfully they did make their case

I was torn to stay or give them space

Wishing to be a passing neighbor

I moved away from their house labor