October Light

My recent Adirondack Center for Writing residency allowed me to complete drafts of the five remaining poems in my “Light Year” series, exploring the qualities of light in each month of the year, and to do some revision work on the seven I had already completed. I’m happiest with the following draft for October. The remainder still need some more time to stew before revision.

In the meantime I am seeking illustrators who might like to work on visual accompaniment to the series. If you feel drawn to any of this work, let me know at dale@ncpr.org.

October Light

It comes first from the north. After setting the Gatineau Hills aflame,
it burns south across the broad valley. It comes first at the timberline,
then pours down the mountain shoulders toward bog and pond like lava.
It blares out of the east at sunrise and smolders west at close of day.

It comes from above, painting the waterside trail like the aisle beneath
a stained glass window — lemon and crimson, an hallucinatory shade
of vermillion, each leaf charting a different path from green to brown,
single pixel in a gob-smacking tableau of river, lake and mountain.

It sifts down, collecting in drifts like golden snow, ashine above, aglow
below, aflare on scented air. Nowhere here the light doesn’t touch.
Nowhere the wind doesn’t stir paint on the marbled ground.
Nothing that doesn’t glimmer from the shadows or gleam in the sun.

It burns day after day, week after week, until all of summer’s fuel
is spent. Just here and there a thin brown banner of oak leaves
blows, a few yellow coins quiver on the birch, a few withered apples
on a limb. Then one dawn–all gone, turned to a blank white page.

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1 Response to October Light

  1. Mark Holland says:

    My friend, our friendship makes me smile, and your poetry feeds my soul.
    What’s not to like?

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