Acrostic Poem: Autumn in Northern Alberta's Peace River Country

What is an Acrostic?

a·cros·tic

[uh-kraw-stik, uh-kros-tik] noun - a series of lines or verses in which the first, last, or other particular letters when taken in order spell out a word, phrase, etc. (definition from dictionary.reference.com)

Acrostics or acrostic poems are often written around a famous event or a famous person's name. They tell us a story about the person or event in an entertaining or sometimes unexpected way. FloraBreenRobinson's "Agatha Christie: An Acrostic Poem" cleverly weaves facts of Christie's life with titles from her books, and tidbits about characters from her many crime novels to give us a unique perspective on the Queen of Crime.

This acrostic poem about harvest season in the Peace Country weaves a tapestry of autumnal images, scents, and sounds, and the thread of remembrance of times past - a portrait of a vasty place that those of us privileged to live here call home.

...view from the end of my street, looking towards the Peace River

Autumn Wheat Field
Autumn Wheat Field | Source

Northern Images

Autumn
Autumn | Source
Burr Oak leaves
Burr Oak leaves | Source
One of the last working wooden elevators
One of the last working wooden elevators | Source
Wild Grasses
Wild Grasses | Source


All hushed, quiet, a new day waits to be born -

Utter stillness, the grey pre-dawn; nothing stirs to wake the world;

Tiny, tree-homed voices in sleepy chorus, a feathered choir sings the sun awake -

Up from sleep,

Man and beast meet and greet the morning,

New day crisp with apples, wood smoke, and the last sweet clover

Icy fingers chill the dugouts, frosting edge with the promise of winter's coming -

November's gift, a hockey pond for future Gretzkys, farm-boy dreams of the NHL;

Not just yet, though - harvest's in the air -

October's anthem;

Ripening, golden, stalk-stiff,

Thick stands of Durham, Canada Number One, Pride of the Prairies,

Heavy-headed in the fields;

Every serried, sun-blessed row,

Round every curve of knoll and hollow, past windbreak and summer's long-dry creek bed;

Nowhere on earth has earth like this - centuries-old lake bottom, scoured by glaciers, hand-picked clean of rock enough to girdle the earth with stack-stone fences;

Ask any farmer their favorite childhood chore; not one will pick rock-picking -

Long hours in the sun,

Bent double, back-sore, blistered hands - burnt into mind

Every ache and furrow - too many rocks and stones to count, but every one remembered;

"Remember when" - an old man's game, to freeze time, to look back and say, "That year, we did 'thus and so'..."

Time seems to stretch so long; some days could last forever

All intent on reaping nature's year of work, yet, still... a calm, a peacefulness, a sense that all is right and ripe - a crystal moment of "knowing"

Sky so deep and clear a blue you could drown in it -


Canada Thistle
Canada Thistle | Source
Northern Reflections
Northern Reflections | Source

People down south never see sky that color!

Everyone should feel life under this sky

At least once, just to say they've really lived -

Combines marching over ordered fields; dust clouds hang in the still, golden air

Even the breeze seems to pause, holding its breath 'til the crop's are safely in;

Rain - black on the horizon -

I've seen the whole harvest taken, cold as charity gusting across the grain in some random steam hammer's crazy dance; flatten here, skip there, swirl, smash, and glide...

Vast swaths of broken hope, pounded into the field, stalk and stem;

Every Fall we pray to capricious weather gods:

"Rain, rain, go away;

Come again after the haying's over,

Or when the canola swaths have been taken up, or next spring when we really need you, but please, just hold off

Until..."

Neat and swift, the last of the Canadas vee up over head -

Time flies with the geese, heading to warmer haunts,

Returning like all things, with the spring;

Years past, teams of men and horses, partnered, brought the harvest in...


A flight of south-bound Canadas
A flight of south-bound Canadas | Source

Old Fashioned Grain Harvest, Sept 8, 2013

The video above, posted on YouTube by Al Girard, shows an old-fashioned wheat harvest, using the only known working wooden threshing machine in Canada. The video was shot at the Ukrainian Village just outside Edmonton, Alberta.

Today, the combine's king, and old wooden elevators give way to multi-silos - concrete coffins some call them... but the land still yields its bounty every fall.

Every fall, the air is thick with dust. The combines run long into the night, and grain trucks roll from field to rail-head with their hard-won treasure - a few of the threads in that weave the tapestry:

Autumn in Northern Alberta's Peace River Country


Mountain Ash in the autumn sunshine
Mountain Ash in the autumn sunshine | Source

© 2011 RedElf

More by this Author


13 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Oh, wow.Thanks for the byline!

I love this poem and the photographs that accompany it add greatly to the imagery for those who have never been there. My favourite photo is the one of the Canada Geese.

No, I can't imagine enjoying rock picking. Farmers here in the Fraser valley grow corn, potatoes, and livestock.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 4 years ago from Upstate New York

How very cool! Thanks for sharing this with us.


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 4 years ago from Stepping past clutter

You have taken acrostic poems to a new level! Good job. I could smell your earth, feel your commitment. The photos enhanced the message. Thank you for generating a bit of Canadian atmosphere into my cold mountian home this morning.


Allana Calhoun profile image

Allana Calhoun 4 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Excellent job! Beautiful imagery and moments of autumn too.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada Author

You are most welcome, Flora. I was inspired by your Agatha Christie poem to try one of my own. I take photos and my daily "dog-walks" and some of them spark of burst of poetry.

Thanks so much P7 - so glad you are enjoying the poetry.

storytellersrus, you so kind. I really appreciate your enjoyment of my words. So happy to spread a bit of Canada anywhere I can.

Allana, thanks so much. It took me a long time to get me eye "tuned" to the landscape when I first moved to Alberta from the Northwest Coast, but it certainly is beautiful country up here.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Beautiful words accompanied by beautiful pictures.

Here's to so many more to share and I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Eiddwen.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 4 years ago from London, UK

That was so beautifully written and a real pleasure to read. Those pictures are awesome.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada Author

Eiddwen, I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub. Happy weekend to you, too!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada Author

Friend, Hh, I am so glad you stopped by and enjoyed the poem and the pictures.


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 4 years ago from Canada

Oh Elle, you have made me miss the North. My heart is still there! I find Peace River so beautiful and it reminds me a lot of Drumheller, too. An amazing poem from an amazing author. Voted all the ups but funny! And how could I not absolutely love a poem about Peace River? Thanks!


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so very much, pp! It is amazingly lovely country. It took me a long time to get used to Alberta when I first moved here from B.C., but I can't imagine living anywhere else now - except now that winter is coming, a trip to the coast would be nice :D


echoe0021 profile image

echoe0021 4 years ago from Conway, AR

Wow, that was amazing, so very descriptive and I've never even been there but feel like I have now. Beautiful.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 4 years ago from Canada Author

Thanks so very much, echoe0021. I'm pleased you enjoyed the poem!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working