The Flame of Autumn

Featured image

The dawn chill of autumn,

Causing fog at the mouth when we speak

 –

The pale sliver of sunlight,

Turning the spider webs to crystal dream-catchers

 –

The amber hay bales in the fields,

Surrounded by a halo of hovering particles

– 

The corn drying on the stalks, crisp and crunchy,

Forming a maze for children’s games

 –

The old barns on the hills, chipped and decrepit,

Like the haunted houses in campfire tales

 –

The goldenrod, dancing in the wind,

Holding their blonde heads high in the meadow

 –

The heavy mist in the valley

Swirling ‘round trees once gay green, now elegant orange

 –

There is so much life, and yet beneath the surface

The sting of death threatens

– 

The bite in the air suggests it,

Piercing clothing to make one shiver

 –

There is a stillness settling over the earth

Like the first and last day of creation

 –

The birds’ songs are softer

Like Elfin lays lamenting a fading glory

 –

The color of the leaves is bursting bright

But will soon turn to blood, wither, and fall

 –

The moments seem to crawl by

Like the spread of frost across a window pane

 –

The nights come suddenly, like a thief

Without the summer sun to ward them off

 –

They are heavier now

Like the winter blankets taken from attic chests

 –

My soul is burdened

By an awareness of aloneness

 –

As empty as a jack-o-lantern

With a nightmarish expression of despair

 –

As hollow as the eye-sockets

Of a moldering skull

 –

As meaningless as the echo

Of cawing crows flying over the pumpkin clusters

 –

I long for fire instead of ice

For understanding instead of confusion

– 

For the embrace of loved ones long gone

Instead of my own arms braced against the cold

 –

But most of all, I long for God

– 

To ask to feel the presence of Him

Is a thing that is known to wound

– 

Agony comes with ecstasy

Even for the saints, among whom I hold no place

 –

Brilliance is blinding and searing

When it pierces the smothering blackness

 –

But I would take it, nonetheless

 –

Sink me into fire, plunge me into ice,

But do not let me wander alone in shadows

– 

Let us have a place all to ourselves

Where I can lay my head on Your breast

 –

Where I may hear your voice whispering

Out of the gentle breeze, no longer chilling

 –

Let us be lover and beloved in the depth of the night

And let not my own self separate us

– 

For You are the Love of Loves

The delight of all things, the breath of life

 –

Let me at least tend the wounds

That I caused you to receive, as a handmaid

– 

Let me feel the peace that comes with fullness

For an instant, to light the winter’s dark

 –

Be the flame of autumn in this changing, chilling world

And in my trembling heart

 –

It is all I need

By Avellina Balestri

Advertisements