Wednesday, October 24, 2007


The Fall.

A most efficient descriptive term. Compact. Final. Brutal.

Yet it evokes many things.

Mornings when the air smokes. Mornings when scents are sharp as glass. Gritty as dug earth.

Days when light sifts down like filings from a rasp that smooths the sun.

When leaves are shed like broken armour and shuffle like brittle metal beneath your feet.

Or like the sush-sush of lapping water.

Days when there are voices in the wind.

And here, where I live, colour that defies any photographer or painter to truly capture the subtleties of shade and tint - of honey and butter and saffron, and every tone in between - of poplar and birch and beech and willow. Elm and oak and alder, walnut, chestnut, rowan and ash.

And that's to ignore the sumach and maple reds that flare from pink to deep and incandescent.

And, always, the flocks of small birds scooped and tossed against a gray silk sky.

Always, a leaving, a mourning of geese.

For Snippit Paparazzi:
Self-abusive agent Nathan Bransford is running a First Paragraph Challenge/Contest.

Doesn't close until tomorrow night.

Warning: The consumption of alcohol may leave you wondering what the hell happened to your underwear.


Carla said...

Beautiful descriptions.

StarvingWriteNow said...

Fall is my favorite time of year, and you have just made it even more lovely with your words. thanks!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Carla and Starving.

Ric said...

Wonderful. Your talents for description are getting even better, something I didn't think was possible.

Anonymous said...

I was there. I sighed.

No better compliment can be given to a writer.

SzélsőFa said...

wonderful description, Bernita - I was only wondering about the use of the very last paragraph with the alcohol in it...But...?

Bernita said...

Aw, Ric, thank you.
What a sweet thing to hear.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jason.
You have no reason to sigh.

Thank you, Szelsofa.
The alcohol section is the first of a series of joke items and not related, to the main post.

Bhaswati said...

Stunning. How many lives will it take me to write one of those sentences?

Sam said...

I love fall - but today it's too cold out and my nose and ears are still tingling from when I went outside to walk the dogs!
Thanks for the head's up to Nathan's contest.

raine said...

Nailed it.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Bhaswati.
But you do. Frequently.
"Dearest Rain"

Great reading, Sam.

Thank you, Raine.

Charles Gramlich said...

Absolutely gorgeous writing. Fresh as the fall air.

Vesper said...

I'm floating, Bernita, like one of those leaves, on the wings of your poetry in prose... So beautiful!

Demon Hunter said...

I love Fall. Thanks for sharing the info. about Nathan's contest! :*)

The Anti-Wife said...

Fall is definitely my favorite. Lovely descriptions!

Lisa said...

You have an incredible gift for description. I especially love "light sifts down like filings from a rasp that smooths the sun".

And P.S. I'd never read the word sumach and had no idea that's how it was spelled. Thank you.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Charles and Vesper, my Demon, AW, and Lisa,
My head is beginning to swell...

Lisa, may also be spelled - perhaps preferred - as "sumac."

Scott from Oregon said...

I went out and bought a Staghorn Sumac just because it turns so angry in the fall. I hear some people treat them like scrub...

I went off and entered that contest. Still looking for your entry. Is it there?

Bernita said...

Yes, Scott, some do - because of similarities to poison sumach, and because it can be invasive - but it can be an effective ornamental.

Mine's there somewhere.
You can enter three times, you know.
Nathan's going for a high count.

Gabriele C. said...

Beautiful words for a beautiful season.

Checking my openings for the contest made me aware how much they suck. And the best one is of a shelved book that still needs more plot than some vague ideas.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Gabriel.
Your openings don't "suck!"
Apparently one can make up one, or it could be from a WIP.

Kate Thornton said...

Bernita - lovely imagery, as always. And yes, what the hell happened to my underwear? When, for instance, did it get so big?

December/Stacia said...


Fall is my favorite season too. We're actually getting changing leaves this year--we didn't last year. If it was just a little bit warmer I'd be in heaven.

As it is...just England.

Bernita said...

Hee, Kate!
Isn't there an expression "big girl panties?" - meaning "not whiney child" panties?
You've been wearing those a long time.
Thank you.

Thank you, December.
Does England get the wide palette of colours we do here?

moonrat said...

wish we had foliage (or trees) here...

Church Lady said...

Beautifully written. I absolutely love the fall. If you do nothing but post lovely photos of colorful trees for the duration of the season, I'll still be an avid reader! :-)

Bernita said...

Can't believe you have "no trees," Moonmouse!

Dear girl, thank you.
Fall must give synesthesics an over-dose.