Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween and Then...November!

Here's wishing everyone in the Poetry Friday circle a wonderful, creepy, owl-y, ghostly, black catty, witchy, dark and delightful Halloween tomorrow night!! After that, November....

Not that I don't like November. But I love the early fall in Seattle - crisp apples, clean air, autumn leaves -  especially if I can resist thinking about how quickly our winter will be here with its bare branches, short days and long nights. Halloween seems to mark the end of sweet autumn and the beginning of soggy fall. But here's a shiny poem (a sonnet, now that I look at it carefully) in celebration of the gray (silver?) month to come: Novemberrrrrrrrr.

Like Coins, November

We drove past late fall fields as flat and cold
as sheets of tin and, in the distance, trees

were tossed like coins against the sky. Stunned gold
and bronze, oaks, maples, stood in twos and threes:

some copper bright, a few dull brown and, now
and then, the shock of one so steeled with frost

it glittered like a dime. The autumn boughs
and blackened branches wore a somber gloss

that whispered tails to me, not heads. I read
memorial columns in their trunks; their leaves

spelled UNUM, cent; and yours, the only head...
in penny profile, Lincoln-like (one sleeve,

one eye) but even it was turning tails
as russet leaves lay spent across the trails.

                     by Elizabeth Klise von Zerneck

The Poetry Friday round-up is either being hosted today by Jone over at Check It Out or Mary Lee at A Year of Reading - can't tell which but will update this later in the day. Head over to one of those pages to see what other people have posted. And you can read another post of mine (about a week in the life of author Maira Kalman) over at Books Around the Table today!


  1. "In the distance, trees/ were tossed like coins against the sky. Stunned gold/and bronze" such gorgeous imagery. Our leaves in Maryland are all gold and bronze -- stunning.

    1. The trees in our neighborhood look pretty bare now, but we drove down to Oregon today and saw lots of color. I really do love October, and this poem seemed to catch it. Thanks for visiting, Laura.

  2. I'm with Laura! The 4th line was so unexpected, and the images throughout were strong.

    1. Diane, don't you just love the idea of a tree "so steeled with frost / it glittered like a dime"?

  3. So clever! All the coin imagery, tucked here and there like secret savings.

    1. Yes, Tabatha - metal everywhere: tin, copper, bronze, gold - and dimes and pennies! Autumn = metallic. Interesting!