The Autumn Country

The season has turned. Autumn has struck its bronzed bell. The nights are cold; the stars are clear, bright. The stars are impressions of night. Orion is rising. The trees are beginning to whisper red and yellow. Green is a memory on the wind.

I love autumn. The slowing-down season. The thinking season. The brewing pots of tea and the gazing season.

But where to gaze?

More blankets have been added to the bed. I rely on my cuddling daughter for extra warmth. The few open windows let nothing but a breeze in and the faint anthem of the crickets. Even my three cats are quiter, more observant, sleeping on the back of chairs, listless and dreaming.

This is not the season for Oscar Wilde. It’s the season for Kij Johnson or Dickens or Virginia Woolf or Blake or Tove Jansson or Lemony Snicket or Lloyd Alexander or Ray Bradbury.

The sounds are: crunch, swish, snap, and lap.

The moon leaves a moon-path over the water, and I want to walk it.

The apple in my pocket is not the apple on the tree. It’s green and good and juicy. The bite I leave is not mine. It’s some others on the round globe.

The light is fading, but where can it really hide?

The sun is not all-powerful. The moon is.

And the stars. Did I mention the stars? I must have.

The leaves will fall and the bare trees will stand out. Bone for bone.

And soon the first snow will fly. And lights in strangers’ houses will invite. And my own will be added to the long nights.

And if I’m lucky, a band of wild turkeys will traipse through my back garden like grizzled mystics. And maybe one will  drop a feather.



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