Friday, October 8, 2021

Red And Gold


 Red And Gold

Under my feet bright bodies
of leaves, mast from the oak, crunch
of all the discards of summer, fire's coming
crackle; percussion accompaniment
to sweet smoke of raked heaps burning
where you stand smiling,
match in hand.

Peridot green under amethyst clouds
the after-storm sun bent the grass back
with sudden heat, as you bent my bones
with one touch, onyx eyes
closing on summer's fire
while the last light left brushed the waterfall's
singing to red steam.

Around my skin a white pelt of
frozen water, my remembering numbing as wind,
 howling hard as a cast-out wolf ten states
from its pack, too old to fight
too full not to cry,
 under a sharp sickle moon
that sees nothing at all.

Rolling wheels on warm red dirt
over the creek, around the bends where 
trees hide the climb, mask the descent,
 shaking their gravid buds in the rage of air
pushing me, pulling me,
past the point where words
could make me stop.

Every season dies around me,
every leaf, every white-muzzled wolf
in my wilderness, each golden October
burning red under the match
til nothing is left but the journey
I reverse night
after night in my sleep.

October 2021

posted for Meet the Bar: Cadralor plus Nobel

Images: Autumn Leaves, Lake George, NY, 1924 ©Georgia O'Keefe   Fair Use
Red Dirt Road After Spring Rain, author unknown, via internet.    Fair Use


  1. Well dear, I meant to wait until I attempted this form myself before reading yours, but the enticement was too great, it looked to good to wait on, so here I am. I only got to the start of the second stanza before i started smiling--a smile that's involuntary, the one that happens when I'm reading something unusually pleasing. I especially adore the part in your middle stanza about to old to fight, too full not to cry. Wow. The wolf, the season, the felt Other in the details, it's all just so full of duende and autumn skies. By the end, my smile was a long sigh, and I'm not sure which was more satisfying. Wonderful, wonderful work, Joy.

  2. ps--as always, I love the tags and the images, too.

    1. Thank you, Shay. You know your words always mean a lot to me.

  3. Your poem is saturated with the colors and emotions of Autumn ... 'every season dies around me' .. yes. Incredibly lovely.

  4. Joy, the organic wholeness of the poem as she travels around the seasons, reaching full circle and then trying to reverse each night is an enjoyable and intense read. I love the combination "Peridot green under amethyst clouds." Also like the match that shows up here a few times.

  5. A wistful gathering in the turning of the season.

  6. I really love the images of the colors of fall, but what sticks with me is the fire set already in the first stanza... it is almost like lighting the pyre while you are still alive until only the journey is left.

    Always great to have you areond.

    1. Thanks, Bjorn, and thanks for the inspiration and the introduction to this form.

  7. Aside from the titel, beautiful sharp colors stand out with: Peridot green under amethyst clouds, and Rolling wheels on warm red dirt. I love the concluding stanza with the seasonal change from summer to autumn, and the cycle of the numbing remembering of memories that never stops. The rage is in the air.

  8. OMGosh this is so beautifully written. It took me through the entire season of fall, from beginning and before, to end and after, and to and from all directions. Five stars and more for this ink!

  9. I especially the stanza featuring the wolves - I just wanted to linger in that cold, that numbing sense, after being so startled and eaten by the flames and heat ... and that line, in the II - about the sun bending back the grass post storm? wow! TOTALLY stunning - superb the way you actually phrased it and such an exquisite notice/detail to include -
    all in all, this entire poem reads as one and yet each stanza works its own magic, has earned its own meritorious commendations - and your poem's closing is just perfect - the choice word phrasing is sublime .... as always (even though I've been AWOL for eons) I do so enjoy reading your words Joy! Always a great pleasure and very completely instructive to me. Cheers!

    1. It's so good to have you back to read. I wish I could remember your former screen name, but I certainly can't forget your writing or your individual gift. I knew you as soon as I read your poem. Thanks so much for really reading and getting this one.

  10. superb. visceral, visual, vivid - then this admission - no - revelation:

    til nothing is left but the journey

    1. Thanks, M. If I hadn't read yours I never would have found this form, so many thanks for that as well. Hope all is well with you, and thanks for continuing to write and share your talent with us.

  11. Your words explore autumn's shades and moods from so many different angles that the effect is like a kaleidoscope of the season. Beautifully done!

    1. It's not really about autumn's shades and moods, except very generally, but thanks, Ingrid.

  12. Each stanza is so evocative, Hedgewitch! I love all the sensory imagery, the crunching of leaves, the jostling between hot and cold elements, the personification of all the wilderness you so viscerally described. Mouth-watering <3

    Sunra Rainz

  13. A melancholy feeling envelops me as I read this. Seasons dying around us is so sad when put into words. That third stanza is incredible.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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