Monday, February 23, 2009

Ode to October

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across a poem I wrote while walking in my favorite place last fall. And today, while still in the doldrums of winter's last stretch, with fog obscuring everything and raindrops pounding my soul while I sit in my office looking out, I thought I would share.

Ode to October

As I sit among the oaks
in the warm October sun
and the turning leaves
twist and dance before me

out above the meadow
a lone, silky spider's thread
sails along a breeze, visible
only for a moment in a crystal
flash of sunlight.

Moss sways in trailing rivulets
like the dreadlocks of a forest nymph
matted with twigs and leaves
and soon to be dripping with winter's tears.

The last of the season's dragonflies hover
and dart and now in the sun's path, hundreds
of gleaming, powder-white objects swarm,
basking in the sun's cloak of radiance,
invisible just a moment before.

The scent in the shadowed places
reeks of summer's early morning,
Earth's own tangy sweetness emanating
from piles of warm, dying leaves

smelling of pumpkin and sawdust,
swimming holes and overturned earth.
A small plane overhead hums its
nostalgic, rumbling tune taking me back
to my grandmother's garden

of spiny artichokes and pickling cucumbers.
In the kitchen, applesauce bubbling
frothy on the stove, swelling the house
with its tempting sweet tartness.

A fire crackling before the freshly-cleaned
hearth, sending billowy bands
of sweetly charred, smoky resin to fill
the quiet neighborhood.

In summertime on this walk
I duck into shady dells
and avoid the benches
drenched in scorching sun.

Today, the shadows are cool and biting
and I search for sun-warmed rocks
while yellow jackets hover an inch from the ground
as if searching for lost change.

Red berries perch atop bare stems
amid tufts of dirty cotton balls.
Dying leaves bed the trail and
whisper to me as my feet drag them.

Small oak leaves flicker and twirl
madly, franticly to their deaths while larger
leaves drift in slow motion, silently,
gracefully to their own last bed of scented needles.

An elderly lady bug, spots dimmed
and fading, climbs the mountain
of my shoulder and at the top
takes flight.

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