Fall Poems

Fall Poems

Whitetail

four million years moving through this hidden place
deep in your blood knowing it by heart
it has always been yours but now I share your secrets
you are everywhere these barren days

sex-crazed leaving traces on hard ground
on trees
making mistakes
showing yourself is your fatal flaw
you’re giving yourself away and you don’t know that
you cannot help yourself
I understand this behavior in my own flawed heart

sensing me in your space
I sense you in mine
we will both die here
you are more beautiful
and this is why
you are first to die

Forecast

To the mantis on the wall
I’m a shadow cast by clouds
cool stillness
interrupting the warmth
of autumn’s fading sun
Lithe green conscious machine
400 million years of insect evolution
unfazed by my superior intellect

Caught in that moment
of self-doubt
and sensing the presence
of an ancient predator
I retreat and anticipate
the uncanny evolution of empathy

September

once, sound was all above me
buzz of crickets, shrill cicadas
shook the trees

absent now
instead it’s the sharp crunch
of insect bodies
mixed with acorns
beneath my boots

old leaves too
one day they’re tree-bound and wind-rustled
and the next day they show up
down here

this transference
seems fraught with some meaning
it is beyond me
like the warmth that slips farther
away each day

I know it is gravity
that does it
but it seems
much heavier than that

Late in October

Playing the odds of one more warm day
the last katydid is hanging tough
while a mantis prepares for hara-kiri.
Nervous chipmunks pool intelligence.
They’re drawing up secret maps
and hiding them in burrows.

I hear each year they forget
where they’ve stashed them
and so must struggle like the rest of us
blinded by frozen eyelids
stumbling, falling
toward utter hibernation.

Squirrels are in my face
staring right through me
peering for nuts I may have hidden
behind my ears.
I guess I’m no threat now
compared to what’s coming.
The ones who can’t take the pressure
throw themselves in front of cats.

Fault for the Fall

You’re just being cruel
We did all we could
To pretty things up
Trying our best to clean up after you
But it’s a lost cause and we know it
Tree-loads of leaves are down

Seeds strewn around
Berries rotting on the ground
The sidewalks are all sticky
With odd fruit no one wants
It’s cold
Getting fat is making sense
Already, some of us have given in

Ice on the sunflowers
Is scaring the birds
You’re holding summer hostage
Isn’t that enough?
Not only that
When I walked out the door
You threw my hat in the dirt

And your killing spree
Goes on and on
I know for a fact
The doe on the highway
Was innocent

-text by Tullio DeSantis

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