Lines Composed in Meadows Near the Black Forest

by William Ruleman (August 2015)

(Breitenberg, Neuweiler-Hofstett, Germany;
30 September 2010)


The distant tractors lull us with their drone.

A quilt of brown and green adorns the slopes.

Across the blacktop, silver snails’ scrolls wend,

While weary maples crackle into blaze

Against the soothing gloom of pines and firs.

And though the apples (glowing crimson globes)

Are dusty now with destiny’s certain mark,

A brooding stasis marks the mountain ranges.      


Here it seems that little ever changes,

And if that seems seems too deceptive, dark,

There is a kindness in the way it probes

Our beings slowly for the ghost that stirs

A warmth that calms in ever cooler days.

One wishes this would never end . .  .

In autumn's waning, ah, may all our hopes

Take heart in hymns that stem from these days’ tone.



William Ruleman is Professor of English at Tennessee Wesleyan College. His recent publications include poems and translations in Ezra, The Galway Review, The Pennsylvania Review, and The Sonnet Scroll, as well as two books of translation: of prose and poetry by Stefan Zweig in A Girl and the Weather and of poetry by the German Romantics in Verse for the Journey: Poems on the Wandering Life (both available from Cedar Springs Books via

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