Ashes, Jasmine, and Molasses

A witch fell in love with the Autumn,

And with her rich golden-brown skin.

The witch longed to place her lips to it,

And trace runes there with her tongue

Like an apple and its stem

Falling on perfect Earth.

Autumn called the witch from her dreams at night--

Her nail gliding along her hip in bed,

Like an old iron hook on a porch door.

There is power in orange moons,

And weakness, oh glorious weakness,

In love.

The witch, at this time, had a job at the post office,

But she couldn't resist gathering up gas bills, catalogs, shopping circulars,

And burning them at midnight.

She collected the ashes, adding jasmine and molasses

Until, with a snap of her wrist and the right words,

They became love letters.

The Autumn received them

And smiled without a word.

The Autumn shook her thick brown hair,

And leaves filled gutters, streets, and fading gardens

Like straw fills an effigy.

Crows gathered on her shoulders and she cooed to them, as if they were her babies,

Each so black,

So peculiar

And so faithless.

Autumn knows that her beauty is as one with her dying

And the witch, her admirer,

Dies too, for love of her.

But yet, they remain

In everything that is paired--

Like two posts of a rail fence, two cats in a driveway, two forks of the same stream,

They kiss and part,


Come together again

In the night

In the dark

In the Fall

Like twin spirits satisfied at last,

They run together,



for magpie 35


Cloudia said…
I love your words...

your spirit!

Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral
Jannie Funster said…
Holy Cow! (Sorry, I'm always saying Holy Cow here, just can't help myself.) BEST autumn poem ever, no offense to other poets and their autunmal offerings, of course.

I've always wondered how the witches made their Halloween candy so addictive -- jasmine must be the key.

Sherry Blue Sky said…
Oh yoiks, another fantabulous irresistable witchy poem that is simply too brilliant for words! You could do a book of ONLY witch poems, it would sell like hot cakes!!!!! (i recommend it!)

I so love this witchy brew - so many reasons why -
"like an old iron hook on a porch door"

"orange moons"

Love that she has the same job as you, how coincidental:)

Love her burning up the circulars and adding jasmine and molasses and Autumn receiving them with a smile.......

I ADORE Autumn shaking her hair......"her beauty is as one with her dying" oh now I can relate to that line especially today when I read John Lennon would have been 70 and it blew my doors off at the freakishly swift passage of time......the beauty of LIFE hits one more with each decade, as they fleetly pass......

"two posts of a rail fence, two cats in a driveway, two forks of the same stream"

Intensely satisfying. There seems to be no limit to the number of brilliant perfect poems that only you can write - your voice is unlike any other, which is what makes your work so special.

I love this poem so much!
Brian Miller said…
shay, you write like an iron left in the fire, grabbed by a distracted hand...
Mama Zen said…
Could this be more gorgeous?
Ileana said…
In death their love lives on. Beautiful, Shay...just lovely, my dear. :)
Unknown said…
I am with MZ could this be more gorgeous and luscious in nature...the autumn and it's draw to us it's drawing from us.

I like your new header too...gorgeous like you...the witch in the autumn as we shake our hair loose...

xoxo G
Angie Muresan said…
Breathtaking and brilliant. I've always wondered why witches like autumn. Now I know.
Anonymous said…
a quite beautiful poem - loved to read about autumn and the witch, a strange love story perhaps, but well told
Riot Kitty said…
I want my own personal witch. Hey, where did your icon go sending hapless victims to my blog?
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Back for another read - the witchy fire reminds me of Lisa burning her wedding gown in her driveway one midnight your new header especially the rainbow............and I keep forgetting to say how much I enjoy: Wings. Deal with it.

hee hee.
Jinksy said…
Just in time for Halloween, a bit of witchery!
Claudia said…
wow - that was fantastic! after reading this, i fell in love with autumn again as well
esp. loved...
like two posts of a rail fence, two cats in a driveway..
Dave King said…
Fantastic. You've left me speechless - doesn't often happen! Congratulations.
Tess Kincaid said…
I adore "like an old iron hook on a porch door". The key here is molasses! Love this. LOVE it.
Anonymous said…
I too love this. Great Mag. Love and Light, Sender
TALON said…
As beautiful as autumn itself...
Vinay Leo R. said…
how beautiful you spin your words, Shay :) lovely Magpie!

My Magpie Is Here:
Kathe W. said…
wow- ( I'd say Holy Cow...but someone beat me too it!)
What a gorgeous poem. So rich with delicious words.
signed...bkm said…
Love that Autumn Witch - especially working at the post office.... it will be witching night soon....cheers..bkm
Tragic and beautiful and true and haunting. I wish Autumn would last all year so they could stay together and yet death and separation and time-sensitive love is even richer than the forever kind.
I missed you and your words. I am so happy to be back.
Holland said…
Another great one. I guess you were truly inspired by the picture on Magpie blog.
Lynn said…
I love autumn and this was a lovely tribute to it.
Unknown said…
Awww...doesn't everyone love autumn?
I hear her kisses taste like RedHots :)

Awesome, Shay
Carrie Van Horn said…
You craft your words like magic every line! :-)
Mojo said…
Same Time Next Year...
Helena said…
After these words, I wish Autumn was just that bit longer.....!
Tumblewords: said…
Beautiful = I think I'll keep reading it until spring comes. :)
Caty said…
your words are magical and your creativity genius. I loved this!
I know this woman.
(and i love these words!)
kathi harris said…
The witches come out in the fall. It's time 4 Halloween after all.
Lydia said…
Marvelous, Shay. I will keep the scene of the junk mail's transformation into heady love letters to Autumn. And the beautiful to think of Autumn cooing to them. And this:
Autumn knows that her beauty is as one with her dying . . . brings tears to my eyes.

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