October Blooms


October blooms are
heavy under gray skies.
Summer is a faded smudge
on the hydrangeas.
Paper twists crackle;
wood smoke tastes the air.
Old logs pop and spark.

The cold circles like a cat,
pacing and turning,
until it settles down with
frozen purrs and a tailspin
from the first few snowflakes.

We ask our questions.
Will winter be long?
Will it be icy?
But the winter cat
turns a cold shoulder,
keeping its secrets
with October calm.

2016 Brenda Davis Harsham

Note: Halloween comes tomorrow, but the nights are already cold. Halloween on a Monday night — will devilry be cut short by parents? Will young witches and specters have to get home early with their candy bag only half full?

Here is an excerpt from another poem about October, full of sound and fury:

Especially when the October wind
(Some let me make you of autumnal spells,
The spider-tongued, and the loud hill of Wales)
With fists of turnips punishes the land,
Some let me make you of the heartless words.
The heart is drained that, spelling in the scurry
Of chemic blood, warned of the coming fury.
By the sea’s side hear the dark-vowelled birds. 

— Dylan Thomas, from Especially When the October Wind, read in its entirety here.

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