Foliage

This past week in Vermont was wonderful – sunny and warm during the day and chilly and clear at night. Then yesterday it rained – but we needed it, so it was okay.
James and I went out for a long walk in the rain. Actually, I did tons of running and James did the walking. We were soaked when we got back. My red leather collar colored my neck a pinkish color, and James said, “Look at what I’ve done – raised a redneck. My South Carolina upbringing is coming through on you.”
Speaking of rain, James is reading a book by Cynthia Barnett entitled Rain: A Natural and Cultural History that he says is fascinating. He reads portions of it to me from time-to-time. You might like reading it, even if you live in South or North Carolina as it might help explain all the rain you received this past week.
Outside many autumn leaves are on the ground, and yesterday in the rain James said, “It looks like huge colorful raindrops have fallen from the sky.”
James wrote a poem, “Seasons of Vermont,” that has a part on autumn. I thought I’d share it with you (James gave me permission, but told me I had to say it was included in his collection of poetry: Pleasures& Seasons of Vermont).
IX.     Foliage
Boreas forces October home on cold, wet, gray clouds
portending an untimely arrival. Temperatures plummet, skies
crystalline, the smell of organic compost permeates the air.
Changing from pleasant emerald to hearty bullion – even fiery
ginger – some when wet glimmer violet, vivid leaves flutter in
spiraling sails like dancing emblems, as trees sway in rhythm.
Onerous tempests split spindles, supplying cuttings for vases.
Tubers are rescued, vegetation wilts below skeletal, straw
maize rustling in the bluster. Hoary nights, bleak days present
a constant challenge. Indian summer teases, creating a forged
optimism that the final fretful icy covering may never appear.
Yet come it must, turning life giving foliage into mush.
Rush, reap pumpkins, melons; cut sage, thyme, parsley, basil
and hang to dry; transport ruddy rosemary indoors.
Once discarded our vivacious maple, fir, ash, beech logos dot
the ground like confetti – rustle, crackle, dazzle under foot.
Tourists are enchanted even when wicked gales capture the
vistas, stealing our auburn, burgundy and carroty charms.
Hummers depart leaving other migrants to pluck hanging
sunflower husks. Their songs denote storing window boxes;
pruning fruit trees; cleaning and covering stalwart perennials.
We buttress against a cold onslaught, Persephone’s absence.
Sunrise sees rust and umber trees secreting a wine-colored hue,
an autumn bouquet, undercurrents of spring growth. Aerated
vines rotate into thick blood like exposed cells of naked limbs.
Ah, pumpkins pop in strategic places to ward off evil.
Midas touched Tamarack needles drop, decorating hillsides
for a last dab of color. Relics remaining at tops of oaks and
aspens shimmer, sound a light twinkling, travel like strands
of reddish-brown and fair-haired fog across forest tops.
October’s closing days are loaded with hibernacula activity.
Inhale night air of sugary smoldering wood. Lashing squalls
put a period on the month, hammering rain and corpulent snow
distributing needed moisture for the interminable winter.
© 2013 James Stack 
We hope you and yours are having wonderful autumn. Today is sunny and gorgeous.

BTW – if you liked “Foliage” you can read more of James’ poems by clicking this link: Pleasures& Seasons of Vermont
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3 thoughts on “Foliage

  1. Wow! James, what a beautiful poem, I read it out loud and enjoyed the deliciousness of your autumn “Foliage”. Of course my favorite season is autumn and living in North Carolina I get to absorb the colors, smells and sounds every year. What a glorious reminder to step outside and enjoy! Thank you!

    Like

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