Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"Autumn Burns" by Ross Balcom

Autumn Burns

Autumn burns.

"Autumn" Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
With flames of red, yellow, 
and orange, it burns.

I set ablaze
a pile of autumn leaves,

and threw myself
on the flames.

My charred tongue spoke
from the ashes,

spoke to my children,
my people, the world:

"May you burn,
may you all burn."

Our ashes
flow like a river

among the stars,
the stars far and cold,

the stars
silently screaming.

Autumn burns,
autumn burns,

autumn burns.

--Ross Balcom

Poet's Notes: This poem began as a celebration of autumn and its colors but quickly became a psychedelic death trip.

Editor’s Note:  I read a bit more into this poem, seeing a combination of the sublime and the macabre with the apocalyptic.  For me, the brilliant leaf-fall colors are a metaphor for a future in which autumn literally as well as figuratively burns--in which earth “falls," as will happen when our sun changes from small and yellow to gigantic and red--sooner if the climate change crowd is correct.  I also read "tongue" in part 2 as "tongue of flame."  Sometimes a tongue is just a tongue.

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