Sunday, June 21, 2015

In Autumn

In Autumn, when my love, my unparticular love
with a dozen faces was leaving--as she is always leaving--
in Autumn, when my heart is forever about to fall--but never falls--
I bought the scent of the season of endings, like an acolyte believing.

Blue, blue, songs are like tattoos, as the lady said.
In Autumn I coccoon myself wrapped in pages where I hope to find
the Neruda or the Dickinson that will assuage this feeling
that seeps like leaf-smoke through my dreams, my grief, my mothy mind.

Now, it is rain-green June, and the vines climb outside my window
as if they saw God above them, or hungry devils below.
My heart is easier when the light is longer, though solitude is still solitude;
darkness waits as it always waits, though I love to fool myself just now, just so.

And my Knight in his armor, plucked from a rank of defenders
off the shelf at Target? He is still here, stoic and ready, aromatic and constant.
It is always Autumn inside him, a high wind residing unseen behind his pose.
Together we make two seasons, skeletal, but telling each other we are verdant,

Each filling the indifferent air with our manufactured ode;
me ever the lady and pregnant, hefting that bale, hauling that load.

Karin Gustafson over at Real Toads, urges us to write an ode to the quotidian. I can't imagine many things more quotidian than a can of air freshener. She suggested looking around at one's desk, and my eyes landed on my dear and treasured Woodside Library can of Glade scent. Leather & oak, it says on the side. So, I put my hair up in a bun so tight it makes my eyes cross, donned my glasses, and began shushing people so that i could write this poem.

The line about songs being like tattoos is from the Joni Mitchell song "Blue", written by her.

Fun fact to know and tell: women have a keener sense of smell than men. It's science!



TexWisGirl said...

your commentary at the end was as wonderful as the poem. :)

i loved this line: that seeps like leaf-smoke through my dreams
and this one: My heart is easier when the light is longer, though solitude is still solitude

even writing about a can of air freshener, you strike deep into the heart.

Anonymous said...

Hey Shay, a new favorite here. You know when there was the prompt with Glade a few weeks ago, this was the meaning that most popped to my mind, and I'm so glad you used it here. Your metaphors are so palpable with feeling,and your phrasing is wonderful==your touch is very deft--a reference--not the right word--a few words, a gesture of words, packs a real punch here, sets scene after scene--I especially like the mothy mind, craving light in fall, and the vines of the rain green june--and the dichotomy always--the falling, which is both like falling from something rather paradisal to falling in love--anyway, all good as far as poetry goes. Thank you for participating. I'm glad Hedge got you going. k.

brudberg said...

Hey, I have never thought of air-freshener in that way.. As a matter of fact I don't use them (might be my lacking sense of smell though)... To capture a season in a bottle, maybe it could be forever a cinnamon Christmas then...

hedgewitch said...

See, girlfriend? I knew this one was made for you. What does Karin say in the challenge, that odes are always lyrical? Yes, that. Ordinary things can hold extraordinary feelings, qualities, sensations when written, like Neruda, with a singing pen? Definitely, that too. You made a can of air freshener symbol of more than I would have ever thought possible, and then slid in a dozen different images and references to evoke more twilight mood than a dose of Ambian. I am also loving picturing you with your hair in a bun, squinting with devilish concentration. I tried to pick something stand-out to quote, but it was all strung together like pearls--the first two stanzas especially I love, though.

Sumana Roy said...

a lovely play with 'fall'...

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Each filling the indifferent air with our manufactured ode;
me ever the lady and pregnant, hefting that bale, hauling that load.

The closing lines are strong and add to the beauty of this magnificent piece :D

Lots of love,

Sioux said...

Eva Cassidy AND Joni Mitchell in the same post? Wow. (Too bad Eva died too soon.)

I refuse to buy that air freshener... I might get hooked on it like that Bolthouse Farms elixir you got me addicted to...

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is absolutely incredible poetry, Shay. The pace is perfectly maintained, and the rhyme seems the perfect consummation of thought in each stanza. You have created a melancholy mood, redolent of Autumn's longing. I love it. One of my all time favourites of yours.

Rose Ketring said...

May have to rethink our various air fresheners :)

Mama Zen said...

I wish to hell I could pull something like this from a can of air freshener. Damn, woman!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh my goodness, I love your work, so when I tell you this is one of my new favorites, that should let you know how much I adore it. The mood, the wistful hopefulness against all odds, "my heart is forever about to fall - but never falls", "solitude is still solitude"........and then I read this gorgeously poignant poem was sparked by a can of air freshener? I must buy myself a flat or so of Glade, if it can have such spectacular results. But in my case, it would just make my eyes water (writing poems often makes my eyes water), and turn my nose an unpleasant shade of red.

Loved this one, Shay. So much.

Cloudia said...

Yes, tote that barge - lift that blae, pregnant though you be......

Such exciting concepts and words DANCING breathtakingly.

How are you NOT rich and famous???!!!

The world values all the wrong things by design of the masters who thus deny us maturity and understanding enough to unseat them.

You thrill me. Little human-made does anymore.


Anonymous said...

This is incredible, Shay. I will be back tomorrow to spend more time with it. Thank you for this.

C.C. said...

"My Knight in his armour"---love this depiction of air freshener.....haha, brilliant. The whole thing is completely breathtaking for an ode to something so ordinary.

Buddah Moskowitz said...

The irony of air freshener - that something released from a metal canister can freshen anything is amazing. Loved all the literary allusions. Spray on, Mc duff. la la mosk

Lynn said...

It's perfect. :) And this is interesting - I am going to a "house concert" on Sunday - the woman who sings the Glade commercial jingle is performing.

Margaret said...

"vines climb outside my window
as if they saw God above them, or hungry devils below"

I could literally copy and paste this whole poem. LOVED it and am putting it on my Pinterest . Wow. Just wow. (hope you didn't get a headache from such a tight bun) Maybe a "selfie" next time for our enjoyment :)