Apples and wind

October tiptoed over too gently, bringing the fall
while kissing his apples to red, singeing leaves
into scarlet and rust while in yellow she rose
him from sleep with fog in her fingers poking him right
from his bed into acid of rain; she’s turned him a pile
of cotton and wool as she danced him into the gale.

October came with widdershin winds, as a gale
slivering sprigs, wrecking the branches to fall
into rubble; in her wake the streets are piled
up with trash (as pages torn from his books) and leaves
tumbling and sticking to dampness of stones, but right
when she came, heaven cleared as the shy moon rose.

October was lofty light skies and the rose
clinging at the edge of its living: it was a gale
of lightheaded laughter from a gaggle of girls right
outside the librarian’s window and now when it’s fall
he turned apple cheeked, as smiling he leaves
the cobwebs and dust to pages he’s piled.

October is that lady (too loud) with her hair in a pile
of seaweed. wearing a corduroy smock and rose-
colored glasses collecting in maple leaves
shades from the summer just passed with a gale
and a sigh. She’s the end and beginning, the fall
from a blessing, the curse of ever been right.

October is driving a bike and sharply turn right
at the edge of a cliff, hoping (in vain) not ending up piled
up as rubbish left after the apple tree’s windfall;
She’s Ophelia’s corpse in stagnant water, the rose
left at his doorstep from a leftover lover. She’s a gale
of woodwind and drums, a presence that leaves.

October is the book he was reading, turning the leaves,
but forgetting each word — the ultimate fright
of losing his sense, the whirlwind of gales
in his bloodstream a book burning craze, his wreck-pile
of thoughts, the falsehood of demons who rose
while claiming his thinking; both birth and his downfall.

October is leaves on his grave, a book-pile he left
(never read), his birthright to rise, the rose on his desk
the gale, arriving at nightfall, with boots on her feet.

A Plate of Apples by Henri Fantin-Latour

Today Victoris introduces us to one of the most complicated forms we will write at dVerse MTB. But we do have a month to write our poems. Please join this challenge and the fun.

This sestina is reworked from an earlier version I wrote a year ago.

August 15, 2019

20 responses to “Apples and wind

  1. Oh my! For some reason, this line struck a chord in me “She’s a gale
    of woodwind and drums, a presence that leaves.” But there is so much in here. The personification is quite remarkable. And the appearance of a librarian made me smile and then be melancholy at the ending tercet. You’ve captured the autumn season in so many different ways here….in a tale…in imagery….in personification. Just beautifully done! I really enjoyed reading this, Bjorn!

  2. This is a stunning sestina Bjorn (does it need an edit in the beginning with August). I love the smells and sounds of October, from apple tree’s windfall, leaves and graves. The envoi of 3 ending lines summed it up beautifully.

  3. You have indeed made the sestina look easy, Björn, and I love this version of the poem, which I liked the first time around – I remember those widdershins winds and the gaggle of girls outside the librarian’s window! This time around I enjoyed the lines:
    ‘…kissing his apples to red, singeing leaves
    into scarlet and rust while in yellow she rose
    him from sleep with fog in her fingers…’

  4. So much to love about this, Bjorn: The characterization of AugustOctober and October, the words themselves that just fall off the page into my mouth and have such taste and texture, and the clear imagery of the seasons as they unfold. I think this is the kind of poem the form was created for. Thank you.

  5. This is wonderful Björn, you were quite at home with the form, which opened it to my ear — much to my surprise. The form will never be my cup of tea, but you steeped a most tasty tale.

  6. I do love a sestina, and this is such a rich and luscious Autumnal, Bjorn. I love the structured repetition, and your descriptive writing is second to none.

  7. Bjorn, this poem is a masterpiece! Your imagery is amazing. I so love “in yellow she rose / him from sleep with fog in her fingers poking him right
    / from his bed into acid of rain”. I agree with Kerry, your imagery is second to none. A fantastic write, just wonderful to read. Wow.

  8. /October is that lady with her hair in a pile of seaweed/ hooked me; loved /she’s Ophelia’s corpse in stagnant water/. As already stated, you seem to flourish within the form, your lovely word smithing leaping off the page

  9. This is magnificent. The first stanza hooked me. Loved your use of colors and interconnected metaphors.

  10. Björn, this is gloriously rich with autumn senses. I admire and love the entire piece, but this section with its so-specific outline of a person is my particular favourite:
    “October is that lady (too loud) with her hair in a pile
    of seaweed. wearing a corduroy smock and rose-
    colored glasses collecting in maple leaves
    shades…”
    Wonderful!

  11. I really like the way you use the double meanings of the words. A wonderful journey through Autumn with memorable images–the repetition at the start of each stanza is very effective. (K)

  12. I loved the flow of this, like a great energetic outpouring. I think you used the form really well – a series of vignettes, building up a multi-dimensional picture of October. Really great.

  13. I love the personification of October and the widdershin winds and how this leads us to the person, the bike and the pile of books unread which I feel is particularly poignant for our later years.

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