The Grace of Autumn

autumn leaves

Autumn Leaves

Summer’s end

cathedral windows

paint pale canvas,

dapple our shadows

with sight,

for colors pieced and patched

quilt earth to sky;

precious colors

once hidden within,

made plain by grace,

grace us.

Fall’s Last Leaves

Wild wind drives them,

shakes loose last grips

sending them hurtling

heading who knows where

when they catch,

to gently find their rest.

How like these fall’s last leaves are we,

when struggle with wildwind

Spirit or Fear gives way,

and in letting loose our last grips

to the power of now-anointed wind

find our fingers grasped by God.

How Great This Grace

How great this grace,

poking, prodding,

filling every empty space

with scarlet, crimson, burnished gold,

an autumn smell and sound,

burnt crackle color freckling clouds with fire.

Unseen seen,

ever surprise,

words, wonders,

chance not chance

but guided good

subtly woven in us,

through us;

look what God has made for us.

His finger holds us,

knows each vein, each stripe of light,

recognized design,


fire wrought from fire to be fire;

look what God has made of us.

How great this grace whose hand we hold.


  1. Your poems were used last week at a zoom prayer meeting hosted by ISC Glasgow which has folk tuning in from all over the world. I wanted to thank you for them – beautiful and challenging – a wee bit like Gerald Manley Hopkins.

  2. I ran across a poem of yours the other day. Realizing that it was yours I Googled and found a few more. Just wanted to say beautiful. Peaceful. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  3. Dear Pat and Margaret,
    Thank you both for your kind words and for expressing a desire to read more of my poetry. My other dotMagis posts can be accessed by clicking the words “11 articles” near my photo in the author box. But I have not yet made progress toward publishing a volume of poems in book form, although this has been a dream of mine for many years.
    To me, the most important thing is that the poems are able to go out into the world and do their work, and I could not have hoped for a more optimal audience than the readers of dotMagis! I’m incredibly grateful to Loyola Press for this opportunity, and even if there were a book one day, I would want to continue submitting poems to dotMagis.
    Through readers’ comments on dotMagis, I’ve been amazed to see how God is using these poems for good, in ways that I could never have imagined. Also, I think the poems can be especially effective when presented a few at a time.
    Still, I think it would be great to one day publish a collection, and your comments, along with another request for a book that came through my email recently, make me wonder if maybe God thinks publishing a volume of poems is a good next step. For now, I plan to continue to pay attention to notice what God might be doing or calling me to do next. Please pray that I comprehend and follow the Spirit’s promptings. After all, these poems are God’s: Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.
    Thank you again!
    Mary Ellen
    P.S. Pat, I hope that your surgery went well and your recovery is speedy!

  4. Thank you again, Mary Ellen. As always your inspiring words have wonderfully impacted and energised me. I leave home in about an hour to attend hospital for my right eye, cataract operation. Your words are very soothing and spiritually enriching to help me on my way. I don’t want to again “sound like an old record,” but have you any news about having your very special poems published in a volume?
    Pat – North East England.


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