Here on the fourteenth day of October, I present “Fourteen Ways of Looking at Fall Foliage.” This autumnal one-upping of Wallace Stevens was first published in my collection Autumn Lauds: Poems for the Halloween Season (available on Amazon).
Fourteen Ways of Looking at Fall Foliage
By Joe Nazare
An unguttering, golden-orange torch
Mitigating the lengthening nights.
Beacon to New England.
A regional tourist trap
Sprung by the shortage of chlorophyll.
The outdoors brought online.
Photographic alchemy uploaded,
The transient rendered eternal.
Splendid deciduous calendars.
October oaks counting down
The days remaining until Halloween.
Furnishing a synonym for the season
In silent, scattershot descent.
The methodically discarded apparel
Of exhibitionist boughs.
Democratic in downfall.
Rolling out a red carpet
That anyone can walk.
Leaves lying like scratchy blankets
Drawn over cold sleepers.
Rain-pasted to windshields.
Clinging to the hope of mobility,
Driven by autumnal wanderlust.
Dead but wind-borne.
Brittle skittering across macadam:
Shucked insect husks activated.
Absent yet manifest.
Colorful trefoil ghost-prints
Recorded on concrete.
Originals of the plastic facsimiles
Decoratively strewn across harvest tables.
Sizable shapes suggesting fairy mounds.
Front lawns given an eldritch hint.
Fiery piles ignited.
Like proleptic pyres
For the waning year.