November Despond


November pares us like green apples,

Circling under our skins

In long, unbroken spirals until

We are sweet flesh for the elements

     Charles Wright, "A Journal of English Days"





Ragged echelons of the last geese leaving.

For three days I've not spoken to anyone.

The squirrels bury every hazelnut I scatter,

Instinct stronger now then even their hunger.

Two nights of hard frost and now a frieze

Of clouds and wood smoke lowers shadows 

On harvested fields and the edge of town,

Windows here and there opening into light,

A clattering in the catalpa warning of rain,

Wind in the pines the remembered sound

Of autumn brushfires catching and flaring,

Swaying like a hay field before first cutting.

From far across the commons a woman's

Calling and calling, rising into the first faint

Silent stars; this answer she will never hear.

Poetry by countryfog
Read 1153 times
Written on 2015-11-10 at 15:10

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Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
This is great. I loved the reference to a frieze of clouds and wood smoke. And the title says it all. You really have managed to marry the feeling with the setting here.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
I agree with the others. This a fine poem, sober and chilly as an Andrew Wyeth painting.

All at BirdBrains are sorry to read of thy despond, my friend :-)
I love this poem, though. The quotation by Wright serves as an excellent preparation, as the beauty in his lines continues in your own. I like the 'ragged echelons' especially and it's always a pleasure to observe squirrels, of course. The 'frieze' is very apt and I like the dramatic soundscape of 'clattering in the catalpa' followed by autumn brushfires. Altogether, this is a treat on a dismal day. Applause!

The only thing I loathe more than November is October and December--and then there's January and February which go beyond loathing.

Stately, atmospheric word painting that brilliantly sets the stage and the mood it inspires. I really like the ''frieze of clouds and wood smoke''--how frieze hints of freeze. Expertly composed with a style and vocabulary that is quintessentially yours.

Nancy Sikora
You've perfectly captured the feeling of that last descent into winter.