Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In Honor Of The Season


by Edgar Allan Poe

The skies they were ashen and sober;
      The leaves they were crispéd and sere—
      The leaves they were withering and sere;
It was night in the lonesome October
      Of my most immemorial year;
It was hard by the dim lake of Auber,
      In the misty mid region of Weir—
It was down by the dank tarn of Auber,
      In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

Here once, through an alley Titanic,
      Of cypress, I roamed with my Soul—
      Of cypress, with Psyche, my Soul.
These were days when my heart was volcanic
      As the scoriac rivers that roll—
      As the lavas that restlessly roll
Their sulphurous currents down Yaanek
      In the ultimate climes of the pole—
That groan as they roll down Mount Yaanek
      In the realms of the boreal pole.

Our talk had been serious and sober,
      But our thoughts they were palsied and sere—
      Our memories were treacherous and sere—
For we knew not the month was October,
      And we marked not the night of the year—
      (Ah, night of all nights in the year!)
We noted not the dim lake of Auber—
      (Though once we had journeyed down here)—
We remembered not the dank tarn of Auber,
      Nor the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir.

And now, as the night was senescent
      And star-dials pointed to morn—
      As the star-dials hinted of morn—
At the end of our path a liquescent
      And nebulous lustre was born,
Out of which a miraculous crescent
      Arose with a duplicate horn—
Astarte's bediamonded crescent
      Distinct with its duplicate horn.

And I said—"She is warmer than Dian:
      She rolls through an ether of sighs—
      She revels in a region of sighs:
She has seen that the tears are not dry on
      These cheeks, where the worm never dies,
And has come past the stars of the Lion
      To point us the path to the skies—
      To the Lethean peace of the skies—
Come up, in despite of the Lion,
      To shine on us with her bright eyes—
Come up through the lair of the Lion,
      With love in her luminous eyes."

But Psyche, uplifting her finger,
      Said—"Sadly this star I mistrust—
      Her pallor I strangely mistrust:—
Oh, hasten! oh, let us not linger!
      Oh, fly!—let us fly!—for we must."
In terror she spoke, letting sink her
      Wings till they trailed in the dust—
In agony sobbed, letting sink her
      Plumes till they trailed in the dust—
      Till they sorrowfully trailed in the dust.

I replied—"This is nothing but dreaming:
      Let us on by this tremulous light!
      Let us bathe in this crystalline light!
Its Sybilic splendor is beaming
      With Hope and in Beauty to-night:—
      See!—it flickers up the sky through the night!
Ah, we safely may trust to its gleaming,
      And be sure it will lead us aright—
We safely may trust to a gleaming
      That cannot but guide us aright,
      Since it flickers up to Heaven through the night."

Thus I pacified Psyche and kissed her,
      And tempted her out of her gloom—
      And conquered her scruples and gloom:
And we passed to the end of the vista,
      But were stopped by the door of a tomb—
      By the door of a legended tomb;
And I said—"What is written, sweet sister,
      On the door of this legended tomb?"
      She replied—"Ulalume—Ulalume—
      'Tis the vault of thy lost Ulalume!"

Then my heart it grew ashen and sober
      As the leaves that were crispèd and sere—
      As the leaves that were withering and sere,
And I cried—"It was surely October
      On this very night of last year
      That I journeyed—I journeyed down here—
      That I brought a dread burden down here—
      On this night of all nights in the year,
      Oh, what demon has tempted me here?
Well I know, now, this dim lake of Auber—
      This misty mid region of Weir—
Well I know, now, this dank tarn of Auber—
      In the ghoul-haunted woodland of Weir."

Said we, then—the two, then—"Ah, can it
      Have been that the woodlandish ghouls—
      The pitiful, the merciful ghouls—
To bar up our way and to ban it
      From the secret that lies in these wolds—
      From the thing that lies hidden in these wolds—
Had drawn up the spectre of a planet
      From the limbo of lunary souls—
This sinfully scintillant planet
      From the Hell of the planetary souls?"

 My favorite seasonal poem by Edgar Allan Poe, published here many times, but for me it never gets old. Best All Hallows wishes to all.

Images: Cemetery statuary, via the internet

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Mole Run

Mole Run

Time has made me a mole.
A thrower of dirt, a rebreather
defined by my runs;
blinking in the occasional dazzle 
of that other world
then head back down in the blanketing dark,
swimming through earth with my
double thumbs, sniffing and
pushing with my starburst nose,
living on whatever I find
that thinks itself safe underground.

This poem is a tunnel,
a simple device through which
the wriggling earthworm falls,
 stunned and saved in my black pantry,
where I keep all the juiciest creatures
just for you.

~October 2016

Note: Moles have a special sort of hemoglobin which allows them to absorb more oxygen while above-ground and reuse it later. They have two thumbs per paw, and construct tunnels in order to 'trap,' devour and store wandering earthworms, which they paralyze with a toxin in their saliva. You can find out more about the lifestyle, physique and habits of moles here on wikipedia: 

Images: An Egyptian Poppy with a Water Mole, 1912, by John Crome; Public Domain via wikiart.
Star-nosed Mole (Condylura) by the US National Park Service; Public Domain via wikimedia

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Winter Charm

A Winter Charm

The wind is hoarse
with words of the north.
Mother of columbine,
green twist of turpentine
over the ice,

lace scratch of voles
cabling the snow,
wild-knitted life on needles of bone;
a whole that eats parts,

a breathing of graves, 
a wide-open door

and under the hellebore,
your gold heart.

~October 2016

(Yes, I'm back, because the words won't go away.)

Image: Lenten Rose Hellebore hybrid (Helleborus orientalis) 'Blue Metallic Lady' 
via Pinterest. Fair use.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Sailing Away

Au revoir, friends and readers. It's time for another voyage away from the shores of blogging. If I come safely to the other side, perhaps we'll all meet again. Till then, best of luck to all, and much gratitude to those who have supported and cheered me through the shoals and reefs of the past.

Image: Guests from Overseas, Nicholas Roerich, public domain

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fatal Charm

Fatal Charm

Untie the leaf and let it drop.
Shrivel each wing of the stuttering moth.
Shrink the sun, let loose the dark
to stripe the sky-beast's paneled heart
heavy with more than it can hold;
let the rain come hard and cold,
each death's-head drop a memoir told
of summer's wasting, long-winded decline.
Freeze the fruit and kill the vine
that can't be mine. 

~September 2016

posted for     real toads

Optional Musical Accompaniment

Image: Untitled, by Zdislav Beksinkski  Fair Use
Fall Fade   ©joyannjones 2014

Sunday, September 4, 2016


"Don't you leave me here
don't you leave me here
but if you  must go sweet baby,
leave a dime for beer."


The first time I was left
I was unborn
before I knew to flip myself
and swim upstream
to shadow's
shifting shelter in the reeds.

Leaving after leaving
set the hook,
so many hands to pull
 the finished fish out of the drink.
All that's left:
a  silver glimmer and a stink
among the weeds.

~September 2016

posted for   real toads

Flash 55 Plus 

 Optional Musical Accompaniment

Image: Golden Fishes in a Dark Sea, 2006, © Twins Seven Seven
Fair use.