Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Deconstructing Autumn

He thinned out the color with turpentine,
turning the leafy glare of cadmium and chrome yellow
into watery pastels; the house no longer seemed to fit,
and ended up on the palette knife.
With the autumn leaves turned pale and lusterless
October's bright blue dome seemed overdone.
Grey skies, he thought. Much better.
The country road narrowed, finally morphing into woods;
the horse-pasture lost its barn, the horses
transformed into dogs chasing an unseen deer
(you could almost hear the baying),
then disappeared with one stroke
beneath a row of trees that sprang up overnight.
A few boulders appeared and faded; the small
brook evolved into a larger stream but nothing
came to drink and it soon was painted out.
The barren field, now struck by frost, turned yellow and brittle,
a few weeds still bobbing--no, wait--someone mowed it flat
and took the hay, and that bit of blue water to the east
became a tidal wave, clearing the landscape,
leaving only a canvas scraped clean of everything
but grey sky and one determined, distant, goose,
rapidly flying south, and gone.


  1. Jeeezus, JT, I cannot begin to express how much I admire the way you unwrote this landscape. I could not have done this; my thoughts are so small and immobile these days.

    You remain my hero.

  2. Ron, you do make me smile. Thank you. This is one of those things that just kept writing itself, all the way down the page. God bless automatic writing.

    And your last poem, "On a Wire" ain't so bad either; the internal rhymes are perfect.