Sonnet in Autumn Air

A naked breath and all is silken clear:
the ash leaf crinkled by October sun,
the caterpillar’s need to disappear
in rainbow dreams of trembling darkness, spun
by uncreated wings in the cocoon,
the sweet diaphanous allure of thread
between a sleepless spider and the moon
entangled like a specter of the dead.
Now split an Autumn gourd and smell the musk
of emptiness, the dim pain we must feel
and savor deep beneath our ruddy husk.
Taste every shadow sunlight might reveal,
and stay, where shriveled berries are reborn.
One pure nectar seeps through rose and thorn.


Photograph by Jean-Francois Beaudry in National Geographic

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