Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Embertides


Autumn Foliage,
Thomas Hicks (1823-1890)
o/c.

The subtle signs are here already for those of us who fear the cold.

In the morning the white ghosts of drowned summer heat rise like smoke above the river.

A flutter of suicidal leaves lays as litter on the lawn, brown in their brittle impatience, foresworn by haste from the bright banners of the final battle.
Light fades too early. Uncertain shadows, once sharp-edged as a polished sword, crouch and quiver, before and behind us, in the amber gold of afternoon.

And the wind moves like a furtive beast, without scent, without voice,
a silent sentinel of summer's end.

I sit amid the mocking green,
waiting for the leaves to turn and fall.

A lament for sweet summer gone.



44 comments:

writtenwyrdd said...

Beautifully written, Bernita.

Fall is coming way too early this year. The trees started to show their colors two weeks ago. Now the temps are cool, the fog shrouds the morning and the days are shortened.

I feel rather bereft when summer dies, but I love the lingering autumn. My favorite time of year (except the smell of burning leaves, which annoys me, lol.)

Bernita said...

Weitten, summer and winter are the two seasons we think will never end.

Bernita said...

And thank you.

BernardL said...

'A flutter of suicidal leaves lays as litter on the lawn' Ouch, now that's a lament. Don't worry, Bernita, at our age, all we have to do is blink, and the next season is here. :)

jason evans said...

So sad. I'm not ready yet this time.

December/Stacia said...

It's been fall here since March.

Bernita said...

Winter freezes my eyelids, Bernard.

Nor I, Jason. With hobbling about I feel I missed summer this year.

Really, December? That's seriously grim.

laughingwolf said...

fall can't come soon enough for me... wettest 'summer' on record! grrr

avg rainfall for aug = 99mm... we got 299mm... most local crops destroyed :(

raining now...

not a winter fan, but i know it'll never get as bad as those i endured in northern alberta....

Robyn said...

After a 100 degree summer with humidity so thick it felt like breathing water, fall cannot come early enough for me!

But you can make anything sound good.

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I agree with fall being early this year--at least in Colorado. My trees in the back are already flashing their gang colors, though the aspens, even in the high country, are dark and lush as ever. We're in a cold snap, and the leaves sounded like paper rattling as I rode my bike this morning. It's coming, and I love it. (though I'll miss my fountain!)

Bernita said...

Not so near the coast, it won't, Lw. Inland is a different matter- "but the winds sure do blow cold way out there."

Here we very seldom get above 85-90F, Robyn.

Fountains and birds, Betsy. I will miss the freedom of open doors and windows and strolling outside without the necessity of 40 lbs of arctic fleece.

SzélsőFa said...

Fall seems to come a bit early here as well - but as Robyn said: you made it sound so interesting, Bernita :)
I wonder what this particular fall may bring. There's definitely something in the air.

Sam said...

Pretty, pretty!!!
And I agree 100% - it seems like summer is already gone. *sob!*

sex scenes at starbucks said...

I want to see a photo of your fading gardens!

Bernita said...

"I wonder what this particular fall may bring. There's definitely something in the air."

You feel that too, Szelsofa? I had put it down to a seasonal affectation, but...

Fall asters are already in bloom, Sam.

Right now, they are be-jungled with weeds and utterly rampant, Betsy.

Carla said...

Beautiful.

BernardL said...

'Winter freezes my eyelids, Bernard.'

LOL!

Gabriele C. said...

I have asters and geraniums in full bloom together this year. It's a bit unusual but I like the air of coming autumn.

raine said...

Simply beautiful, Bernita.

Fall is coming, and it does seem to be early. I am not ready. I need the sun.

Why can't we just go from autumn back to spring? :-/

Bernita said...

Thank you, Carla.

Gabriele, I like the chrysanthum days of autumn, but winter - so bare and bleak - dwells too long in my habitation.

Thank you, Raine.That's a great idea! Or at least limit it to two months.

spyscribbler said...

Beautiful.

Although, I love fall. I mean, I LOVE fall. I'm crazy about fall. It thrills me. It's not just my favorite season, but... it's like Christmas to me. I look forward to fall all year long!

I can't wait!

Bernita said...

Thank you, Natasha. You won't have to wait long.

laughingwolf said...

ian tyson did have it pegged, bernita :)

ChrisEldin said...

Beautifully written, but I LOVE the autumn!!

I hope you give all seasons equal poetry time.
:-)

Bernita said...

And Sylvia, Lw. I love that song.

Thank you, Chris.
I have and will.

Steve Malley said...

Now that's a GREAT way to use adverbs and adjectives!

Chumplet said...

Fall is fresh and dry, you get to dig out your favourite sweater, and you still don't have to think about mittens and boots. Yet.

I like the smell of fall leaves, and the crispy clatter when they blow down the street.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

I do envy you over there for you have a true Fall. Here in Auckland, New Zealand, we never get very cold so we don't have the brilliant colors you have. I had nine years in Italy to fall in love with that season and I do miss it.
It's getting so much warmer over here and we are enjoying it.

Bernita said...

Thank you, Steve.

I wonder how dry this autumn will be, Sandra.

Bernita said...

Ye, Suzanne, your world is turning toward spring and green beginnings.
Soon here we'll go down in flames.

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Beautiful, Bernita!

And here I sit and watch tiny green buds unfurling while the squirrels bound across the lawn.

Bernita said...

Thank you, AV&A.
You're in morning season, while I'm in evening yet again.

Vesper said...

Bernita, the first signs of autumn won't make me sad if I can read such words as yours... Beautiful, simply beautiful... You filled my heart with pleasure. :-)

Bernita said...

Awww, thank you, Vesper.

StarvingWriteNow said...

I always miss summer.

However, fall is my favorite season. We usually have long, lovely autumns in Ohio.

Bernita said...

Beth, I used to look forward to each. Now, winter seems too long.
Autumn reminds me that we used to burn our dead.

The Anti-Wife said...

Fall is my favorite and it does seem to be early this year. I opened the door to get the paper this morning and could see my breath. The mums next to my door are about to provide an explosion of color to the landscape, and the geese are already flying overhead in those big V formations - practicing for the trip south.

Demon Hunter said...

That was very beautiful, Bernita. I aspire to write like that. :-)

Bernita said...

AW, I highly approve of chrysanthamums by the door - they can stand everything but a black frost - but geese make me lonely when they cry.

Thank you, Tyhitia.

Bernita said...

And Tyhitia, I'm sure you do better than I.

J. L. Krueger said...

Beautiful post. Though I gotta say I'm looking forward to cooler weather at least. We'll see how I feel come January or February though. Likely I'll be wishing for summer!

Bernita said...

Thank you, JL. I plan to hibernate during January and February.

laughingwolf said...

yeah, syvia too... it IS a great song, with ian still living there, last i heard :)

Anonymous said...

I have been on guard since early August. Something went wrong with the light.

There is a field I pass on Appleby Line. I don't recognize the crop, but its plangent yellow cries of rain and a lowering sky and the bitter overlay of ice.

They say it rained too much but for me it shone whenever I wanted it to.

Asa