Can’t you feel
that breath of fall in the air,
lingering like the haunting scent of flowers after a funeral?
The sun, pale, frail,
weak and unable to warm
thoroughly. Don’t you feel
the bite of the wind whipping from the north,
a bitter hiss. Can you smell it,
crisp and frozen, thin,
of winter and snow and ice and dark
and of a time when the whole world lies sleeping,
a whiff that betrays its inexorable arrival.
Do you see
the trees toss and move
uncertain, waiting, breathless,
for the balance to change and the beam to crash
down at one end,
leaving cold in its wake. Can’t you see
the colors have bleached and intensified
the vibrant greens turned brown to golds and reds?
The life is withdrawn and the leaves fly loose,
released and fly helpless on the bitter wind, leaving
brown sleeping skeletons against the intense blue of the sky.
Do you taste those colors dead but so alive
against the cold, those colors of fire
like Halloween candy? Can’t you feel
the summer slipping,
taste the hint of snow upon the wind,
see the colors faded intensified;
can’t you see,
can’t you hear,
can’t you tell,
can’t you feel…
that fall is here?
Today is the fall equinox, and even though it’s overcast and I can’t see the sun set on this perfectly balanced day, it’s as good a day as any to return to the blogosphere. (See what I did there? Probably not.)
This brings me to the reason why I haven’t posted in…what, thirty days? Thirty one? Thirty five…? How long have I avoided logging into WordPress or checking my blog email? And this is due to what? Well, recently I relocated from my home on the west coast to the other side of the country, meaning things have been hectic enough recently to make you puke. Not that I did. No, really, I didn’t. That plus the fact that my creative muse–the Pacific Ocean, if you haven’t been able to guess before now–is some thousand miles or so away across a continent that is half desert.
“But what’s the problem?” you might ask, “the Atlantic is right there. It’s closer, so what up?” Well, for one thing, it’s much farther away than ‘right there’. Hours away. That completely supports the reason I’m feeling a little ‘landlocked’ right now: never in my memorable years has the ocean been farther away than right over the horizon. Sure, it’s still ‘right over the horizon’, but a good ways farther. Especially my ocean. Those who grew up on the shores of either ocean know what I mean; they’re completely different in more ways than the name and geographic location. I miss it. It’s stuck over there, while I’m over here.
But what’s the reason for my lack of inspiration? Don’t I happen to be somewhere that contains more nature than the previous locale I lived in? Shouldn’t that contribute to my poetry? Well, theoretically, if I had my usual group of creative cheerleaders. Warning to you poets: writing with particular people not only helps your writing, but it also severely cripples your style when you depart from that group. Just sayin’. Listening to other people’s perspectives, other people’s description…priceless, baby.
And now I’m struggling to come back up. I went under for the third time last month, and now I’m trying to kick up above the whitecaps (Don’t you love that discreet irony?). Pure emotion needs to get translated back into words. I have to write “morning paper” every day, shove the creativity loose. Return to the world of the slam. If you have a favorite writing prompt, please comment with it.
Oh, and can’t you feel fall in the air?