Fall, Helsinki


The first cool hint of winter

Came this Sunday morning

From a pale blue sky

To shine

With lemon light on yellow leaves

And fire up maple reds.

It jostled stiff brown stems

To rustle in the flower beds.

So frail and shy a creature

With the slightest touch

Transmutes the summer’s feature

By not much

In such a gentle evil way

One does not even quail

To feel the softest brush

Of faint death’s tail.

Has this ghost pupa hatched

From out the extra hour

Set to sleep through summer

From the Spring?

Or merely tipped and spilled

From Time itself

Which wobbles

With the planet’s bobbles

In its sunswept swing?

No matter.


It glitters in the weakened sun

To stiffen out its membranes

With their needle spines.

Cooling breezes tease away

The heat of summer

Shed like a sunburned skin

To sweep like flying silken scarves

Far down to Africa.

It needs three months

To gnaw away the green to brown

And brown to black,

To fill its lungs with poison cold and ice

And crack the shell of life,

To spill the snow with frozen birds

And mice

And etch its black-white artistry

On dead gray clouds.

A moon-white sun

Awaits for when

The Earth slides down its path

To certain rendezvous with life

Begun again.


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