A thin man dressed in brown

October dress himself in brown
a thin man with a pumpkin face
his hands are pale
with tapered fish-like fingers
slipping through your hair,
both lover and a murderer
but still
he wears his boots with pride,

It’s not the gravity of night, he wears
not his reek of mold,
nor his scent of dirty sodden wool,
he’s neither rain nor mud;
not the cold drizzle dripping down your back
not even those annoying fruit-flies
on your fruits gone bad.

But darkness comes;
he robes himself in black
and scratching on your windowsill,
this night of his; is it maybe
your death delivered tenderly
in tiny bitter tidbits?
Is he the slow beginning
of yet another end?


Linked to dVerse OLN where Mish hosts.

October 1, 2020

26 responses to “A thin man dressed in brown

  1. Very dark imagery here, and this stanza is incredible:

    “with tapered fish-like fingers
    slipping through your hair,
    both lover and a murderer…”

    A very well written piece. It’s incredibly gothic and it’s really the essence of October.

  2. Deliciously dark and sombre imagery here, Bjorn! 💝 October does seem both sinister and generous .. it feels like an omen that can be bent to our will if we try it… especially love; “with tapered fish-like fingers slipping through your hair, both lover and a murderer but still
    he wears his boots with pride.” 🙂

  3. A dark personification, Björn. Your thin man dressed in brown reminds me a little of ‘Der ErlKönig by Goethe. It’s not the reality of the character but the threat that is so scary, the scratching on the windowsill.

  4. More ogre than prince, this thin brown visage, wearing October as his name band, shocks and seduces, making death beautiful, being a herald for the ice sheet on its way.

  5. When I read, “…tiny bitter tidbits” the top of my head blew off.
    But then I read: “Is he the slow beginning / of yet another end?” I totally discorporated. My Beloved Sandra confirmed: she said I actually flickered, then VANISHED for several seconds.

  6. Bjorn I don’t know how you could conjure a creature more repellent nor more transfixing for the unwary. His juices are like that poisoned blood coming from the aliens in Alien — they destroy layer after layer without end.

  7. That is a dark character of October, like death itself waiting outside one’s window. That second stanza is filled with contradictions, yet it fits the oncoming dark nights of this month.

  8. Death in life in death – I like the incongruous notes in this dark verse – ‘he wears his boots with pride’ – ‘the annoying fruit flies…’ and also the repetition of ‘not’ statements in the second stanza (anaphora?) ‘It’s not…’ Well crafted and dark.

  9. A wonderful poem Bjorn. When it started I thought you were talking about fall, but as you wove this poem it became clear you were talking of something so much more intense… our demise… and the question at the end is perfect!

  10. I’m pleased I didn’t read this one before going to bed! But when you think about it, we’re all at that slow beginning, at the very least…spine-tinglingly good!

  11. We always welcome winter here as and when it starts, can never fathom winter to be dark though, because it comes after such a long scorching summer in India!!

  12. Oh boy, a wee bit too grim for me right now, but WOW, I do love the eerie personification. I feel another layer…. as the future feels so cold and vague right now.

  13. I am late getting around Bjorn. I have been distracted, battling with my conscience over my dark, leering, ongoing smirk regarding the news coming from the White House today. I think the stressors and grief life itself delivers are the accumulating tidbits of our demise. Our individual exposure to these, and propensity to effectively digest and expel them, determines how well or poorly we die — but we all die. Some perhaps not quickly enough (smirk)…

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