Together, Autumnal



Autumn carved into the land

like a grinned

snaggle-toothed pumpkin,

fleshy and crooked.

Leaves set themselves aflame

with a frost-bent ferocity,

starting in the secret mountain

hollows amongst crackling

streams and splintering

crows of rock,

then the tree-beings screaming

scraping off their pumpkin-orange skins

to darken valley dance-floors

spitting birds-of-leaves

whole flocks of darting leaves

to bury the fields

attack the rain gutters

and eclipse the ground from light

The creeping line of darkness advancing,

the warmth withdraws

south towards

days lengthening

and other leaves just now greening

swollen buds in a warmer night

But here the light

is running,

each day bleeding light

the hour-glass pouring

out leaves and light

A hasty retreat–

sucking south swirls

of currents and streams,

cold-fronts kicked up

like an icy dust,

while thick galaxies of wind

batter their way south,

throwing burnt chips of leaves

into blinding zephyrs of wet

glinting golds

as night reveals gales

of broke-knuckled stars

and the cold, old gore

of rotting pumpkins, icing

creek shallows,

and bare, bare trees.

While high above

the hard, gray

rock of the sky

chips, flakes off crystals

of white, ancient white

spinning off to slits of snow

that ghost before our eyes.

Yet amongst all this tumult,

all this leaf-brackish air grinding

down overhead

and all these threaded screws

of cold, turning

into these wooden bones

of (h)ours

You and I

still found ourselves

on that violently lit

blaze orange leaf-

strewn street corner

with our clacking knees

and watering eyes,



for winter.

Trevien Stanger

November 17th, 2010

Burlington, VT

note:  This poem also appeared in Thread Magazine 

Writer and Reader – the Great Dance

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